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NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard VAR-002-2b

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Portland General Electric Co., FERC Docket No. NP15-28-000 (April 30, 2015)

Reliability Standard: VAR-002-2b

Requirement: R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: High

Region: WECC

Issue: PGE self-reported that system upgrades had inadvertently disabled the Power System Stabilizer (PSS) of a reactive power resource for almost 11 hours before PGE notified the Transmission Operator and re-enabled the PSS.

Finding: WECC found that this issue posed a minimal, but not a serious or substantial, risk to BPS reliability. 116 MW of generation could have been lost if the generator had been unable to respond to fluctuating system voltages. However, the generator would have been able react somewhat to fluctuating voltages because of the resource’s automatic voltage regulator (AVR), the PSS and AVR of another reactive power resource, and PGE’s operators who could manually control voltage. When determining the penalty, WECC viewed PGE’s internal compliance program for meeting reliability standards as a mitigating factor and PGE’s history of noncompliance with VAR-002 R3 as an aggravating factor. To further mitigate this violation, PGE (1) added additional PSS alarms to reactive power resources and (2) trained appropriate operations personnel on the incident.

Penalty: $97,000 (aggregate for 8 violations)

FERC Order: FERC approved the settlement on May 29, 2015.