NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard TPL-001-0 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard TPL-001-0

NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard TPL-001-0

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City of Cleveland, Dept. of Public Utilities, Division of Cleveland Public Power, FERC Docket No. NP10-21-000 (December 30, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: High with respect to R 1, Medium for R 2, and Lower for R 3

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: RFC

Issue: Cleveland Public Power (CPP) failed to demonstrate by valid assessment that its transmission system is planned such that the system can supply projected customer loads at all demand levels with all facilities in service and under normal operating procedures; failed to provide or maintain written record of a plan addressing scenarios in which its system simulations indicate an inability to respond as required; and failed to document its reliability assessments and corrective plans.

Finding: Duration of violation was from June 18, 2007 when the standard became enforceable through February 26, 2009. In reaching a settlement penalty, RFC considered (1) CPP self-reported the violations; (2) CPP was cooperative throughout the enforcement process; and (3) CPP committed substantial financial and personnel resources, compared to its size, in order to achieve compliance with the standard.

Penalty: $160,000 (aggregate for multiple violations, several with high VRF)

FERC Order: Issued January 29, 2010 (no further review)

City of Columbia, MO, FERC Docket No. NP08-29-000 (June 5, 2008)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1.1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Moderate

Region: SERC

Issue: After conducting an audit, SERC determined that the City of Columbia did not perform the required annual assessments needed to demonstrate that, when all of its transmission facilities are in service and when normal operating procedures are in effect, its portion of the interconnected transmission system could be operated to supply projected customer demands and projected Firm Transmission Services at all Demand levels over the range of forecast system demands.

Finding: Exercising its discretion, SERC declined to impose any penalty for multiple violations of the Reliability Standards since the violations occurred during the period of transition to mandatory standards and the violations were found not to have put bulk power system reliability at serious or substantial risk. Further, no system disturbances occurred because of these violations. These multiple violations were the first by the City of Columbia, and the City of Columbia cooperated with SERC during the investigation. Also, the City of Columbia acted immediately to correct the problems and subsequently completed its Mitigation Plans to address the TPL violations and to ensure that reliability is maintained.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: 124 FERC ¶ 61,015, http://www.nerc.com/files/NoticeOfPenaltyOrder.pdf

Eugene Water & Electric Board, FERC Docket No. NP11-43-000 (November 30, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: High (R1), Medium (R2)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (R1, R2)

Region: WECC

Issue: Eugene Water & Electric Board ("EWEB") submitted a self-report for failing to perform required stability studies under normal conditions with no contingencies as defined in TPL-001-0 and consequently also failing to provide a written summary of its system performance plans. EWEB was operating under the assumption that the Balancing Authority ("BA") was conducting the required studies on its behalf, but had not communicated with the BA to confirm this point to assure compliance.

Finding: This was EWEB's first violation of this Reliability Standard, EWEB self-reported the violation and was cooperative throughout the enforcement process, there was no evidence of any attempt or intent to conceal the violation, and the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because EWEB's system is a small portion of a single BA, with a winter peak load of approximately 524 MW, and EWEB does not have any critical interconnection ties.

Penalty: $25,000 (aggregated for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued December 30, 2010 (no further review)

Florida Municipal Power Agency, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: FRCC

Issue: It was discovered in December 2007 that Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) did not perform the mandated assessments and studies as required by the Reliability Standard in TPL-001-0 R1.

Finding: FRCC found that this violation did not involve a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since system planning was still being performed by FMPA's Planning Authority and the transmission planning working group (even though FMPA was not conducting the assessments and studies as required). This was FMPA's first violation of this Reliability Standard and it completed a mitigation plan.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued November 13, 2009 (no further review)

Florida Municipal Power Agency, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided 

Region: FRCC

Issue: It was discovered in December 2007 that Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) did not perform the mandated assessments and studies as required by TPL-001-0 R1 and therefore was also in violation of R2 of that standard.

Finding: FRCC found that this violation did not involve a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since system planning was still being performed by FMPA's Planning Authority and the transmission planning working group (even though FMPA was not conducting the assessments and studies as required). This was FMPA's first violation of this Reliability Standard and it completed a Mitigation Plan.

Total Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued November 13, 2009 (no further review)

Florida Municipal Power Agency, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Lower

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: FRCC

Issue: It was discovered in December 2007 that Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) did not perform the mandated assessments and studies as required by TPL-001-0 R1 and therefore was also in violation of R3 of that standard.

Finding: FRCC found that this violation did not involve a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since system planning was still being performed by FMPA's Planning Authority and the transmission planning working group (even though FMPA was not conducting the assessments and studies as required). This was FMPA's first violation of this Reliability Standard and it completed a Mitigation Plan.

Total Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued November 13, 2009 (no further review)

Merced Irrigation District, FERC Docket No. NP11-10-000 (November 5, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: Merced self-reported that it had failed to conduct Category A (no contingency) studies and therefore could not ensure its transmission system was planned in accordance with the reliability standards. The original violation occurred before the standards were mandatory, but became violations of the mandatory requirements when Merced failed to complete its mitigation plan in a timely fashion.

Finding: It was determined by WECC that the violation did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because Merced did provide studies demonstrating that its system could serve its peak load conditions through 2017 under normal and single contingencies. The duration of violation was from June 18, 2007 through March 6, 2009.

Penalty: $8,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued December 3, 2010 (no further review)

Modesto Irrigation District, FERC Docket No. NP10-93-000 (March 31, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: R1-High, R2-Medium, R3-Lower

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Modesto Irrigation District (MID) failed to perform the full range of "Category A" (no contingency) studies and assessments required by TPL-001-0 R1, R2 and R3.

Finding: The alleged violations occurred from June 18, 2007, when the Standard became enforceable, until December 29, 2008, when MID completed a mitigation plan. Through settlement, no penalty was assessed and MID agreed to undertake a number of activities, including accelerating "Job Task Analysis" development for MID's operators and construction of a back-up control center. In reaching the agreement, WECC considered that it was MID's first violations of this Standard; the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system; MID is a government entity and a small irrigation district; most violations were self-reported; MID did not attempt to conceal the violations; and the violations were not intentional.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued April 30, 2010 (no further review)

NERC Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP10-137-000 (July 6, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not discussed

Region: WECC

Issue: The NERC Registered Entity failed to study multiple demand levels defined in Category A or produce an annual assessment.

Finding: The NERC Registered Entity was required to study multiple demands levels over the range of forecast system demands. In addition, it was required to provide an addendum to its annual assessment to include an analysis of winter (off-peak) conditions. If issues were identified in the winter assessment that required longer lead-time solutions, an analysis of off-peak conditions beyond the five-year horizon would be performed and reported on. If longer lead-time solutions were not identified in the winter assessment, the NERC Registered Entity would so indicate in the addendum and longer-term off-peak analysis would not be necessary. No further publicly available information was provided.

Penalty: $39,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued August 5, 2010 (no further review)

NERC Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP10-159-000 (July 30, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1, R3

Violation Risk Factor: High for R1, Lower for R3

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: The Registered Entity did not have a written assessment meeting the requirements of R1; namely, it did not provide adequate evidence that it had conducted current or past studies over the range of forecast system demands as required. Likewise, the Registered Entity could not produce evidence that it had conducted a near-term summer study in accordance with R3.

Finding: Duration of the violations was from June 18, 2007, when the Reliability Standard became enforceable, through March 30, 2009. The violations did not pose a serious risk to the reliability of the bulk power system because the violations were primarily documentation issues. These were the Registered Entity's first violations of the Reliability Standard.

Penalty: $109,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued August 27, 2010 (no further review)

Nevada Power Company, FERC Docket No. NP10-54-000 (March 1, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Nevada Power analyzed its system only with respect to heavy summer load demand conditions, rather than selected demand levels over the range of forecast system demands, under the conditions defined in Category A. 

Finding: Duration of violation was from June 18, 2007, when the standard became enforceable, through July 31, 2008. The violation was deemed not to pose a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability because Nevada Power had studied its most heavy load condition.

Penalty: $52,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 31, 2010 (no further review)

Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish, FERC Docket No. NP11-135-000 (March 30, 2011)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: High (R1), Medium (R2)

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish (SNPD), a Transmission Planner, failed to perform the required stability studies under the normal conditions (no contingencies) as defined in Category A of Table I to the Reliability Standard in violation of TPL-001-0 R1. Further, SNPD was not able to provide a written summary of its system performance plans as required by TPL-001-0 R2.

Finding: The NERC Board of Trustees Compliance Committee (NERC BOTCC) approved a settlement agreement which included a penalty in the amount of $26,000 for these and other violations. In reaching this determination, the NERC BOTCC considered the following facts: the violations constituted SNPD’s first violations of the subject NERC Reliability Standard; SNPD self-reported the violations; SNPD cooperated during the compliance enforcement process; SNPD did not attempt to conceal a violation or intend to do so; the violations did not create a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system; and there were no other mitigating or aggravating factors or extenuating circumstances.

Penalty: $26,000 (aggregate for 8 violations)

FERC Order: Issued April 29, 2011 (no further review)

PUD No. 1 Douglas County, FERC Docket No. NP10-167-000 (September 30, 2010)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: High (R1), Medium (R2), Lower (R3)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (R1, R2, R3)

Region: WECC

Issue: PUD No. 1 of Douglas County (DOPD) as a Transmission Planner, failed to perform the required studies for the near and long-term planning horizons. PUD No. 1 also did not develop a valid assessment showing that its portion of the interconnected transmission system was planned such that DOPD could supply projected customer and Firm Transmission Services at all demand levels over a range of forecast system demands under conditions defined in Category A of Table I to the Standard. As such, DOPD violated TPL-001-0 R1. In addition, DOPD could not provide a written summary of its system performance plans as required by R2. Further, DOPD could not produce a valid assessment to WECC as required by R3.

Finding: WECC imposed a $70,000 penalty for these and other violations. In assessing the penalty, WECC determined that the alleged violation did not create a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because, as DOPD conducts weekly operations reviews of system conditions, DOPD is aware of the real time and weekly system conditions. WECC also considered the fact that DOPD operates the Wells Hydroelectric Project, which consists of 10 generating units capable of producing approximately 840 MW of electricity, within a single Balancing Authority.

Penalty: $70,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued October 29, 2010 (no further review)

Turlock Irrigation District, FERC Docket No. NP10-18-000 (November 13, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: TID self-reported that it did not properly complete and distribute the required number of valid assessments of Category A conditions to neighboring entities.

Finding: Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007, when the standard became enforceable, through October 25, 2008. WECC gave consideration to the fact that TID is a small entity with limited financial resources, it self-reported the violation, the violation resulted in a minimal to moderate impact to the reliability of the bulk power system, the violation was TID's first of this requirement, and TID provided evidence of a superlative compliance program.

Penalty: $80,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Order Denying Rehearing and Providing Clarification, issued June 21, 2012, 139 FERC ¶ 61,248 (2012); http://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/comm-meet/2012/062112/E-8.pdf

Unidentified Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP11-128-000 (February 23, 2011)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Unidentified Registered Entity (URE) self-reported a violation of R1 prior to the effective date of the Requirement (June 18, 2007) because its annual planning studies and documentation did not cover all of the specified combinations of projected forecast system demands and did not cover certain necessary system upgrades and firm transfer levels, particularly beyond a five-year planning time-line.

Finding: WECC Enforcement determined URE had a violation of R1 because it failed to complete its Mitigation Plan by the time the Requirement became effective. Specifically, URE’s assessment only contained studies under the heavy summer demand level and did not cover results of other demand levels. The violation posed a moderate risk to the bulk power system because, due to URE’s location and interconnections, the loss of its exports could have a significant impact. Moreover, Category A conditions specified in the Standard are the most fundamental to system planning. In determining the penalty amount, the NERC Board of Trustees Compliance Committee considered the following factors: this was URE’s first occurrence of this type of violation; URE was cooperative; and the number and nature of the violations.

Penalty: $450,000 (aggregated for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 25, 2011 (no further review)

Utilities Commission of New Smyrna Beach, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: TPL-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: High

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: FRCC

Issue: Utilities Commission of New Smyrna Beach (New Smyrna) failed to perform the assessments required by the standard.

Finding: Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007, when the standard became enforceable, through June 12, 2009. Penalty was deemed appropriate because this was New Smyrna's first violation of this standard, and the violation did not pose a serious or substantial threat to the reliability of the bulk power system because the required assessments were being done by its Planning Authority and others.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued November 13, 2009 (no further review)