Electric Reliability Organization Proposal To Retire Requirements in Reliability Standards Under the NERC Standards Efficiency Review, 6831-6838 [2020-02171]

Download as PDF 6831 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 25 Thursday, February 6, 2020 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Andres Lopez (Technical Information), Office of Electric Reliability, Division of Reliability Standards and Security, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502–6128. Mark Bennett (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502–8524. 18 CFR Part 40 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [Docket Nos. RM19–16–000 and RM19–17– 000] Electric Reliability Organization Proposal To Retire Requirements in Reliability Standards Under the NERC Standards Efficiency Review Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) proposes to approve the retirement of 74 Reliability Standard requirements. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the Commissioncertified Electric Reliability Organization, submitted the proposed retirements for Commission approval. The Commission also proposes to remand one requirement submitted for retirement by NERC and seeks additional information from NERC on two requirements submitted for retirement. SUMMARY: Comments are due April 6, 2020. Comments, identified by docket number, may be filed in the following ways: • Electronic Filing through http:// www.ferc.gov. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not a scanned format. • Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically may mail or handdeliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Comment Procedures Section of this document. DATES: ADDRESSES: lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Feb 05, 2020 Jkt 250001 1. Pursuant to section 215(d)(2) of the Federal Power Act (FPA),1 the Commission proposes to approve to retire 74 of the 77 Reliability Standard requirements requested for retirement by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC).2 As explained in NERC’s two petitions, the 74 requirements we propose to approve: (1) Provide little or no reliability benefit; (2) are administrative in nature or relate expressly to commercial or business practices; or (3) are redundant with other Reliability Standards. NERC’s justifications for retiring the 74 requirements are largely consistent with the Commission-approved bases for retiring Reliability Standard requirements articulated in prior proceedings.3 The Commission also proposes to approve the associated violation risk factors, violation severity levels, implementation plan, and effective dates proposed by NERC. 2. The Commission believes that the proposed retirements will further the efficiency of the Reliability Standards program by reducing duplicative or otherwise unnecessary regulatory burden. Further, we agree with NERC that the retirement of the Reliability Standard provisions will benefit overall reliability by allowing registered entities to focus their resources on complying with those Reliability Standard requirements that more effectively promote the reliable operation and U.S.C. 824o(d)(2). proposed retirements will result in the elimination of 10 Reliability Standards and the creation of modified versions of another seven Reliability Standards. 3 North American Electric Reliability Corp., 138 FERC ¶ 61,193, at P 81 (March 2012 Order), order on reh’g and clarification, 139 FERC ¶ 61,168 (2012); Electric Reliability Organization Proposal to Retire Requirements in Reliability Standards, Order No. 788, 145 FERC ¶ 61,147, at P 1 (2013). planning of the nation’s bulk-power system.4 3. With respect to other requirements that NERC seeks to retire, the Commission seeks more information regarding NERC’s justification for retiring Reliability Standard FAC–008– 3, Requirements R7 and R8. As discussed below, NERC’s petition avers that the two requirements are redundant of other Reliability Standards, but NERC does not explain how certain elements of these requirements are redundant. The Commission’s final determination on the retirement of these two requirements will be based on the comments received from NERC and others. 4. In addition, pursuant to section 215(d)(4) of the FPA, the Commission proposes to remand Reliability Standard VAR–001–6.5 The new version of the Reliability Standard would eliminate Requirement R2 from currently-effective Reliability Standard VAR–001–5, which requires transmission operators to schedule sufficient reactive resources to regulate voltage levels under normal and contingency conditions. As discussed below, we disagree with NERC’s justification for retirement that Requirement R2 is redundant or not necessary for reliability. Accordingly, we propose to remand Reliability Standard VAR–001–6 in order to retain this requirement. I. Background A. Section 215 of the FPA 5. Section 215 of the FPA requires the Commission-certified Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) to develop mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards, subject to Commission review and approval. Once approved, the Reliability Standards may be enforced in the United States by the ERO subject to Commission oversight, or by the Commission independently.6 Pursuant to the requirements of FPA section 215, the Commission established a process to select and certify an ERO 7 1 16 2 The PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 4 See NERC, Docket No. RM19–17–000, Petition at 7. 5 16 U.S.C. 824o(d)(4). 824o(e)(3). 7 Rules Concerning Certification of the Electric Reliability Organization; and Procedures for the Establishment, Approval, and Enforcement of Electric Reliability Standards, Order No. 672, 114 FERC ¶ 61,104, order on reh’g, Order No. 672–A, 114 FERC ¶ 61,328 (2006). 6 Id. E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM 06FEP1 lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS 6832 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 25 / Thursday, February 6, 2020 / Proposed Rules and, subsequently, certified NERC as the ERO.8 other aspects of the Reliability Standards.’’ 14 B. Prior Retirements of Reliability Standard Requirements 6. In the March 2012 Order, the Commission observed that NERC’s compliance program could be made more efficient by removing existing requirements deemed unnecessary for reliability.9 The Commission explained that if NERC believes certain Reliability Standards or requirements should be revised or removed, ‘‘we invite NERC to make specific proposals to the Commission identifying the Standards or requirements and setting forth in detail the technical basis for its belief.’’ 10 Further, the Commission encouraged NERC ‘‘to propose appropriate mechanisms to identify and remove from the Commission-approved Reliability Standards unnecessary or redundant requirements.’’ 11 7. In response, in February 2013, NERC proposed to retire 34 requirements within 19 Reliability Standards based on the justification that the requirements ‘‘are redundant or otherwise unnecessary’’ and that ‘‘violations of these requirements . . . pose a lesser risk to the reliability of the Bulk-Power System.’’ 12 NERC explained that the proposed retirements were based upon three major criteria: (1) Whether a proposed retirement would create a reliability gap; (2) whether the requirement in question is administrative; involves data collection, retention, documentation, periodic updates or reporting; is a commercial or business practice; or is redundant; and (3) consideration of responses to seven questions regarding the proposed retirement, including whether the requirement was part of a ‘‘find, fix and track’’ filing, the requirement’s violation risk factor level, and whether the requirement is part of on-going standards development project.13 8. On November 21, 2013, the Commission approved the retirements that NERC proposed, and determined that the retirements ‘‘meet the benchmarks’’ set forth in the March 2012 Order that ‘‘requirements proposed for retirement either: (1) Provide little protection for Bulk-Power System reliability; or (2) are redundant with C. NERC Petitions 8 North American Electric Reliability Corp., 116 FERC ¶ 61,062, order on reh’g and compliance, 117 FERC ¶ 61,126 (2006), aff’d sub nom. Alcoa Inc. v. FERC, 564 F.3d 1342 (D.C. Cir. 2009). 9 March 2012 Order, 138 FERC ¶ 61,193 at P 81. 10 Id. 11 Id. 12 NERC, Petition, Docket No. RM13–8–000, at 2 (filed Feb. 28, 2013). 13 Id. at 4. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Feb 05, 2020 Jkt 250001 development process to consider the retirement recommendations generated by the SER Project. 1. NERC Standards Efficiency Review Project 9. NERC states that the proposed retirements are the product of its Standards Efficiency Review (SER) Project. NERC explains that the SER Project began in 2017 ‘‘to achieve [NERC’s] long-term strategic goal of establishing risk-based controls to minimize [Bulk-Power System] reliability risk while also driving operational efficiencies and effectiveness.’’ 15 NERC states that in Phase 1 of the SER Project, teams of industry experts conducted a risk-based analysis of non-CIP Reliability Standards.16 The purpose of this review, according to NERC, was ‘‘to identify Reliability Standard requirements that provide little or no benefit to reliability and should be retired.’’ 17 NERC maintains that, unlike the periodic reviews 18 of Reliability Standards performed by NERC pursuant to the NERC Rules of Procedure, the SER Project involved ‘‘exploring the relationships between the different Reliability Standards in a deeper way than would be feasible during a targeted periodic review . . . [and] allowed NERC to identify requirements that are not necessary for reliability or that are redundant to other requirements.’’ 19 10. NERC contends that the SER Project ‘‘was conducted in an open and transparent manner, with broad industry participation.’’ 20 NERC states that it initiated the standards 14 Electric Reliability Organization Proposal to Retire Requirements in Reliability Standards, Order No. 788, 145 FERC ¶ 61,147 (2013). 15 Docket No. RM19–16–000 Petition at 3; Docket No. RM19–17–000 Petition at 4. 16 NERC states that Phase 2 of the SER Project will ‘‘consider recommendations for Reliability Standard revisions that would further improve the efficiency of the body of NERC Reliability Standards, such as through consolidation of Reliability Standard requirements . . . [and will] consider recommendations for standards-based improvements that would further reduce inefficiencies and promote effectiveness.’’ Docket No. RM19–16–000 Petition at 6–7; Docket No. RM19–17–000 Petition at 7. 17 Docket No. RM19–16–000 Petition at 5; Docket No. RM19–17–000 Petition at 6. 18 The NERC Rules of Procedure require a periodic review of each Reliability Standard; and they provide for a five-year cyclical review of Reliability Standards approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and ten-year cyclical review for Reliability Standards not approved by ANSI. See NERC Rules of Procedure, Section 317 and Appendix 3A (Standards Process Manual), section 13.0. 19 Docket No. RM19–16–000 Petition at 5; Docket No. RM19–17–000 Petition at 6. 20 Docket No. RM19–16–000 Petition at 5–6; Docket No. RM19–17–000 Petition at 7. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 2. IRO, TOP and VAR Petition (Docket No. RM19–16–000) 11. On June 7, 2019, in Docket No. RM19–16–000, NERC submitted for Commission approval new versions of three Reliability Standards: IRO–002–7 (Reliability Coordination—Monitoring and Analysis), TOP–001–5 (Transmission Operations), and VAR– 001–6 (Voltage and Reactive Control). NERC explains that approval of the new versions would result in the retirement of four requirements from the currentlyeffective versions of the Reliability Standards.21 Three of the existing requirements in Reliability Standards IRO–002 and TOP–001 require the reliability coordinator, transmission operator, and balancing authority to have data exchange capabilities with entities having data needed to perform operational planning analyses and to develop operating plans for next-day operations. The fourth requirement, in Reliability Standard VAR–001, requires the transmission operator to schedule the reactive resources needed to regulate voltage levels under normal and contingency conditions. NERC contends that these four requirements are redundant and not necessary ‘‘because the performance required by these requirements is inherent to the performance of other Reliability Standard requirements.’’ 22 12. In particular, NERC maintains that the data exchange capability requirement in Reliability Standard IRO–002–5, Requirement R1 is covered by Reliability Standard IRO–008–2, Requirement R1, which obligates the reliability coordinator to perform operational planning analyses to assess whether the planned operations for the next-day will exceed System Operating Limits and Interconnection Reliability Operating Limits within its Wide Area. NERC asserts that ‘‘to perform the required operational planning analyses, the Reliability Coordinator must have the data it deems necessary from those entities that possess it.’’ 23 13. Additionally, regarding data exchange, NERC cites Reliability Standard IRO–010–2 (Reliability Coordinator Data Specification and 21 The proposed revised versions of the IRO, TOP and VAR Reliability Standards are not attached to the NOPR. The complete text of the Reliability Standards is available on the Commission’s eLibrary document retrieval system in Docket No. RM19–16–000 and is posted on the ERO’s website, http://www.nerc.com. 22 NERC IRO, TOP and VAR Petition at 7. 23 Id. at 14–15. E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM 06FEP1 lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 25 / Thursday, February 6, 2020 / Proposed Rules Collection) and its stated purpose of preventing instability, uncontrolled separation, or cascading outages ‘‘by ensuring the Reliability Coordinator has the data it needs to monitor and assess the operation of its Reliability Coordinator Area.’’ 24 NERC states that under Reliability Standard IRO–010–2, Requirements R1, R2 and R3, the reliability coordinator must specify the data necessary for it to perform its operational planning analyses and provide the specifications to the entities from which it needs data who then must comply with the data request using a mutually agreeable format and security protocols. 14. NERC observes that the performance of the requirements it cites is premised on the existence of data exchange capabilities, ‘‘regardless of whether a separate requirement expressly requires the Reliability Coordinator to have data exchange capabilities in place.’’ 25 NERC asserts that Reliability Standard IRO–002–5, Requirement R1 provides no additional reliability benefit and ‘‘is therefore unnecessary and redundant and should be retired.’’ 26 15. NERC likewise states that Requirements R19 and R22 of Reliability Standard TOP–001–4 merely require transmission operators and balancing authorities respectively to have data exchange capabilities with entities from which they need data to perform operational planning analyses (transmission operators) and next-day Operating Plans (balancing authorities). NERC maintains, however, that Reliability Standard TOP–002–4 Requirement R1, requires a transmission operator to perform an operational planning analyses to determine whether next-day operations within its area will exceed System Operating Limits. Also, NERC states that Requirement R4 requires each balancing authority to have a next-day Operating Plan addressing expected generation resource commitment and dispatch, Interchange scheduling and related matters. NERC asserts that to satisfy these requirements, ‘‘each Transmission Operator and Balancing Authority must have the data it deems necessary from those entities that possess it.’’ 27 16. NERC also cites to Reliability Standard TOP–003–3 (Operational Reliability Data) whose purpose is ‘‘to ensure that the Transmission Operator and Balancing Authority have data needed to fulfill their operational and 24 Id. at 15. planning responsibilities.’’ NERC contends that the requirements in Reliability Standard TOP–003–3 largely mirror the requirements in Reliability Standard IRO–010–2 discussed above, and thus, as with Reliability Standard IRO–010–2, transmission operators and balancing authorities must have data exchange capabilities with its reporting entities to satisfy the requirements of Reliability TOP–003–3. Therefore, NERC contends that Reliability Standards TOP–001–4, Requirements R19 and R22 are unnecessary and redundant and should be retired. 17. With respect to proposed Reliability Standard VAR–001–6, NERC maintains that the revised version retires existing requirement R2, which requires each transmission operator to schedule ‘‘sufficient reactive resources to regulate voltage levels under normal and Contingency conditions.’’ NERC contends that the reliability need for sufficient reactive resources is adequately addressed by existing requirements in several other Reliability Standards and, therefore, is unnecessary. In particular, NERC states that Reliability Standards TOP–001–4, Requirement R10 and TOP–002–4, Requirement R1, require transmission operators to determine System Operating Limits and perform an operational planning analyses to assess whether planned next-day operations will exceed those limits and plan for addressing them. NERC explains that Reliability Standard TOP–001–4 requires each transmission operator to perform Real-time Assessments every 30 minutes to identify possible System Operating Limit exceedances and initiate its Operating Plan to mitigate them. NERC states that ‘‘Operating Plans address the use of reactive resources if needed to operate within System Operating Limits, as well as any other adjustments that may be needed.’’ 28 18. NERC observes that each transmission operator uses multiple tools to regulate voltage levels, including reactive control and Real-time Contingency Analysis, that ‘‘allow the Transmission Operator to quantify the use of reactive resources. As such, a separate requirement specifying that the Transmission Operator must schedule ‘sufficient’ reactive resources for normal and Contingency conditions is redundant and unnecessary for reliability.’’ 29 Additionally, NERC states that each planning authority and transmission planner must assess a broad range of conditions and probable contingencies, including available 25 Id. 26 Id. 27 Id. 28 Id. at 16. VerDate Sep<11>2014 29 Id. 19:21 Feb 05, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 at 20. at 20–21. Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 6833 reactive resources, under system studies required under Reliability Standard TPL–001–4, and develop a Corrective Action Plan 30 to address reactive resource shortfalls, if needed. NERC concludes that given this ‘‘comprehensive and interdependent framework addressing System voltage needs in the operations and planning horizons . . . there is no need to have a distinct requirement expressly requiring the Transmission Operator to ‘schedule’ sufficient resources.’’ 31 19. NERC requests that the Commission approve the implementation plan, attached to NERC’s petition as Exhibit B, and the associated violation risk factors and violation severity levels described in Exhibit D. The implementation plan provides that proposed Reliability Standards IRO–002–7, TOP–001–5, and VAR–001–6 would become effective on the first day of the first calendar quarter that is three months after regulatory approval. The currently-effective versions of the Reliability Standards would be retired immediately prior to the effective date of the revised Reliability Standards. NERC explains that the requested timeline accounts for the time entities will need to update their systems and related documentation. 3. FAC, INT, MOD and PRC Petition (Docket No. RM19–17–000) 20. On June 7, 2019, in Docket No. RM19–17–000, NERC submitted for Commission approval the proposed retirement of ten currently-effective Reliability Standards in their entirety without replacement.32 Additionally, NERC’s petition includes four proposed revised Reliability Standards reflecting the retirement of certain requirements from the currently-effective versions that NERC asserts are not needed for reliability: FAC–008–4 (Facility Ratings), INT–006–5 (Evaluation of Interchange Transactions), INT–009–3 30 NERC defines Corrective Action Plan as ‘‘A list of actions and an associated time table for implementation to remedy a specific problem.’’ Glossary of Terms Used in NERC Reliability Standards (August 12, 2019). 31 Id. at 21. 32 Reliability Standards FAC–013–2 (Assessment of Transfer Capability for the Near-term Transmission Planning Horizon), INT–004–3.1 (Dynamic Transfers), INT–010–2.1 (Interchange Initiation and Modification for Reliability), MOD– 001–1a (Available Transmission System Capability), MOD–004–1 (Capacity Benefit Margin), MOD–008– 1 (Transmission Reliability Margin Calculation Methodology), MOD–020–0 (Providing Interruptible Demands and Direct Control Load Management Data to System Operations and Reliability Coordinators), MOD–028–2 (Area Interchange Methodology), MOD–029–2a (Rated System Path Methodology), and MOD–030–3 (Flowgate Methodology). E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM 06FEP1 6834 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 25 / Thursday, February 6, 2020 / Proposed Rules lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS (Implementation of Interchange) and PRC–004–6 (Protection System Misoperation Identification and Correction).33 NERC asserts that its proposals would not adversely impact reliability, but rather they ‘‘would benefit reliability by allowing entities to focus their resources on those Reliability Standard requirements that promote the reliable operation and planning of the BPS [Bulk-Power System] and avoid unnecessary regulatory burden.’’ 34 21. NERC contends that the full FAC, INT, MOD and PRC Reliability Standards proposed for retirement are not necessary and that removing them would not adversely affect reliability.35 NERC states that retirement of the ten full Reliability Standards is justified because they are primarily administrative in nature or largely related to commercial or business practices, and therefore no longer serve a reliability purpose.36 For example, NERC states that the transfer capability assessment required under Reliability Standard FAC–013–2 ‘‘serves only a market function’’ and ‘‘is not an indicator of [bulk electric system] reliability.’’ 37 In supporting its conclusion that Reliability Standard INT–010–2.1 primarily relates to commercial and business practices, NERC notes that in 2013 the NERC Independent Experts Review Panel recommended retiring the previous version of the Reliability Standard ‘‘due to overlap with the NAESB Electronic Tagging Functional Specification.’’ 38 22. Similarly, regarding the MOD Reliability Standards, NERC states that ‘‘[Available Transfer Capability] and [Available Flowgate Methodology], as well as e-Tags, are commerciallyfocused elements facilitating interchange and balancing of interchange,’’ and that system operators maintain reliability by monitoring Realtime flows based on System Operating Limits and Interconnection Reliability 33 The proposed revised versions of the FAC, INT and PRC Reliability Standards are not attached to the NOPR. The complete text of the Reliability Standards is available on the Commission’s eLibrary document retrieval system in Docket No. RM19–17–000 and is posted on the ERO’s website, http://www.nerc.com. 34 Docket No. RM19–17–000 Petition at 7. 35 The MOD A Reliability Standards proposed for retirement (MOD–001–1a, MOD–004–1, MOD–008– 1, MOD–028–2, MOD–029–2a and MOD–030–3) are expected to be replaced by equivalent North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) business practice standards. The Commission intends to coordinate the effective dates of the retirement of the MOD A Reliability Standards with the successor NAESB business practice standards. 36 Id. at 13–24. 37 Id. at 13. 38 Id. at 16–19. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Feb 05, 2020 Jkt 250001 Operating Limits.39 In particular, NERC explains that information on Interruptible Demands and Direct Control Load Management required under Reliability Standard MOD–020–0 is not useful for transmission operators and reliability coordinators, ‘‘who must plan and operate the [Bulk-Power System] within System Operating Limits and Interconnection Reliability Operating Limits under the TOP and IRO Reliability Standards.’’ 40 23. Regarding NERC’s proposed revised Reliability Standards, NERC states that the data provision obligations of currently-effective Reliability Standard FAC–008–3, Requirements R7 and R8 are redundant with Reliability Standards MOD–032–1, IRO–010–2 and TOP–003–3. NERC asserts that Requirements R3.1, R4 and R5 of currently-effective Reliability Standard INT–006–4 ‘‘provide little, if any, benefit or protection to the reliability operation of the [Bulk-Power System]’’ 41 and that the substance of Requirements R4 and R5 in particular relate to commercial or business practices and are better addressed through the balancing authority’s e-Tag Authority Service.42 Also, NERC states that Requirement R1 of currentlyeffective Reliability Standard INT–009– 2.1 is being revised to remove the reference to Reliability Standard INT– 010, which is also proposed for retirement, and Requirement R2 is redundant with Reliability Standard BAL–005–1, Requirement R7.43 Finally, NERC states that it has determined that rather than the ‘‘specific, recurring and inflexible timeframe’’ set forth in Requirement R4 of currently-effective Reliability Standard PRC–004–5 for identifying the cause of a protection system misoperation, ‘‘it would be more effective to have entities investigate the causes of misoperations according to their own internal control policies and procedures.’’ 44 24. NERC requests that the Commission approve the implementation plan, attached to NERC’s petition as Exhibit B, and the associated violation risk factors and violation severity levels, attached to NERC’s petition as Exhibit D, which are generally unchanged from the currentlyeffective versions. For the Reliability Standards retired in their entirety, NERC proposes an effective date that is immediately upon regulatory approval 39 Id. at 21. at 23. 41 Id. at 29. 42 Id. at 29–31. 43 Id. at 31–32. 44 Id. at 34. 40 Id. PO 00000 Frm 00004 of the retirement. NERC also seeks to retire the currently-effective Reliability Standards FAC–008–3, INT–006–4, INT–009–2.1, and PRC–004–5(i) immediately prior to the effective date of their new versions. II. Discussion 25. Pursuant to section 215(d)(2) of the FPA, the Commission proposes to approve NERC’s request to retire 74 Reliability Standard requirements as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. NERC’s petitions provide an adequate basis to conclude that the requirements proposed for retirement: (1) Provide little or no reliability benefit; (2) are administrative in nature or relate expressly to commercial or business practices; or (3) are redundant with other Reliability Standards. NERC’s justifications for retiring the 74 requirements are largely consistent with the retirement standard set forth by the Commission in Order No. 788 and with the determination that ‘‘requirements proposed for retirement can be removed from the Reliability Standards with little effect on reliability and an increase in efficiency of the ERO compliance program.’’ 45 26. The proposal above does not include NERC’s request to retire Reliability Standard FAC–008–3, Requirements R7 and R8 and Reliability Standard VAR–001–5, Requirement R2. While NERC asserts that Reliability Standards MOD–032–1, IRO–010–2 and TOP–003–3 provide a basis for retiring Reliability Standard FAC–008–3, Requirements R7 and R8, we seek additional information on these proposed retirements because this rationale does not address elements of Requirements R7 and R8 that do not appear to be redundant. 27. In addition, we disagree with NERC’s assertion that Reliability Standard VAR–001–5, Requirement R2 is redundant or not necessary for reliability because we construe the requirement as essential to accomplish the purpose of the Reliability Standard. Accordingly, pursuant to section 215(d)(4) of the FPA, we propose to remand Reliability Standard VAR–001– 6 in order to retain Requirement R2 in currently-effective Reliability Standard VAR–001–5. 28. Below, we discuss the following issues: (A) Proposed retirement of Reliability Standard FAC–008–3, Requirements R7 and R8; and (B) proposed retirement of Reliability Standard VAR–001–5, Requirement R2. 45 Order Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM No. 788, 145 FERC ¶ 61,147 at P 1. 06FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 25 / Thursday, February 6, 2020 / Proposed Rules lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS A. Proposed Retirement of Reliability Standard FAC–008–3, Requirements R7 and R8 NERC Petition 29. Reliability Standard FAC–008–3, Requirements R7 and R8 require generator owners and transmission owners, respectively, to provide facility ratings and related information to requesting reliability coordinators, planning coordinators, transmission planners, transmission owners and transmission operators. NERC asserts that requirements in Reliability Standards MOD–032–1, IRO–010–2, and TOP–003–3 render the data provision obligations of Requirements R7 and R8 in Reliability Standard FAC–008–3 redundant and therefore unnecessary for reliability. 30. To support its redundancy claim, NERC explains that under Reliability Standard MOD–032–1, generator owners and transmission owners must provide information on power capabilities and facility ratings (Requirement R2) to enable planning coordinators and transmission planners to ‘‘jointly develop steady-state, dynamics, and short circuit modeling data requirements and reporting procedures for the Planning Coordinator’s planning area’’ (Requirement R1). NERC further explains that under Reliability Standard IRO–010–2, reliability coordinators must maintain ‘‘a documented specification for the data necessary to perform its Operational Planning Analyses, Real-time monitoring, and Real-time Assessments. This data necessarily includes Facility Ratings as inputs to System Operating Limit monitoring.’’ 46 NERC notes that under Requirement R3, the transmission owner and generator owner must provide such data. Finally, NERC points out that under Reliability Standard TOP–003–3, the transmission operator must maintain data specifications (Requirement R1) and the transmission owner and generation owner must provide the requested data (Requirement R5). Relying on this framework of data specification and provision, NERC concludes that Reliability Standard FAC–008–3, Requirements R7 and R8 ‘‘are now redundant to other more robust Reliability Standards and are no longer needed for reliability.’’ 47 Discussion 31. We agree with NERC that the cited requirements in Reliability Standards MOD–032–1, IRO–010–2, and TOP– 46 Id. at 28. 47 Id. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Feb 05, 2020 Jkt 250001 003–3 provide a basis for retiring certain elements of Reliability Standard FAC– 008–3, Requirements R7 and R8. However, NERC’s petition does not address other elements of Requirements R7 and R8 that do not appear to be redundant. In particular, Requirements R7 and R8 of the currently-effective Reliability Standard require generator owners and transmission owners, respectively, to provide facility ratings to several functional entity types, including transmission owners. While NERC is correct that the three Reliability Standards it cites collectively require generator owners and transmission owners to provide facility ratings to reliability coordinators, planning coordinators, transmission planners, and transmission operators, these three Reliability Standards do not require the provision of facility ratings to transmission owners. Therefore, it appears that, if approved, the retirement of Requirements R7 and R8 would eliminate the mandatory exchange of facility rating-related information with transmission owners. This could, in turn, impact reliability since these requirements ensure that all transmission owners have accurate facility-related information in the models that they use to plan and operate the bulk electric system. 32. Separately, Reliability Standards MOD–032–1, IRO–010–2, and TOP– 003–3 do not address sub-requirement R8.1.2 of Reliability Standard FAC–008– 3, relating to the identity of the next most limiting equipment of a requested facility. Further, these Reliability Standards also do not account for subrequirement R8.2, which requires the identification and thermal rating of the existing next most limiting equipment of facilities with a thermal rating that limits the use of that facility by causing either an Interconnection Reliability Operating Limit, a limitation of Total Transfer Capability, an impediment to generator deliverability, or an impediment to service to a major load center as specified in FAC–008–3 (Requirement R8.2).48 33. Considering the foregoing, while there is some overlap, Reliability Standard FAC–008–3, Requirements R7 and R8 do not appear to be entirely redundant of the other Reliability Standards cited by NERC. The retirement of these requirements would, therefore, result in the gaps described 48 This requirement was developed in response to Order No. 693. Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System, Order No. 693, 118 FERC ¶ 61,218, at P 756, order on reh’g, Order No. 693– A, 120 FERC ¶ 61,053 (2007); see also NERC, Petition, Docket No. RD11–10–000, at 11–13, 20–21 (filed Jun. 15, 2011). PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 6835 above. These non-redundant elements of Requirements R7 and R8 are not addressed in the petition. Accordingly, the Commission seeks more information from NERC and others regarding how the elements of Reliability Standards MOD–032–1, IRO–010–2 and TOP–003– 3 discussed above render Reliability Standard FAC–008–3, Requirements R7 and R8 redundant. The Commission’s final determination on the retirement of these two requirements will be based on the comments received from NERC and others. B. Proposed Retirement of Reliability Standard VAR–001–5, Requirement R2 NERC Petition 34. Reliability Standard VAR–001–5, Requirement R2 requires each transmission operator to schedule ‘‘sufficient reactive resources to regulate voltage levels under normal and Contingency conditions.’’ NERC maintains that the reliability need for sufficient reactive resources is adequately addressed by existing requirements in several other Reliability Standards and, therefore, is unnecessary and should be retired. 35. In particular, NERC relies on Reliability Standard TOP–001–4, Requirement R10 and Reliability Standard TOP–002–4, Requirement R1, that require transmission operators to determine System Operating Limits and perform an OPA to assess whether planned next-day operations will exceed those limits and plan for addressing them. Reliability Standard TOP–001–4 requires each transmission operator to perform Real-time Assessments every 30 minutes to identify possible System Operating Limit exceedances and initiate its Operating Plan to mitigate them. NERC states that ‘‘Operating Plans address the use of reactive resources if needed to operate within System Operating Limits, as well as any other adjustments that may be needed.’’ 49 36. NERC explains that each transmission operator uses multiple tools to regulate voltage levels, including reactive control and Real-time Contingency Analysis. NERC maintains that ‘‘[t]hese actions allow the Transmission Operator to quantify the use of reactive resources. As such, a separate requirement specifying that the Transmission Operator must schedule ‘sufficient’ reactive resources for normal and Contingency conditions is 49 Docket E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM No. RM19–16–000 Petition at 20. 06FEP1 6836 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 25 / Thursday, February 6, 2020 / Proposed Rules redundant and unnecessary for reliability.’’ 50 Additionally, NERC states that each planning authority and transmission planner must assess a broad range of conditions and probable contingencies, including available reactive resources, under System studies required under Reliability Standard TPL–001–4, and it must develop a corrective action plan to address reactive resource shortfalls, if needed.51 37. NERC concludes that given this ‘‘comprehensive and interdependent framework addressing System voltage needs in the operations and planning horizons . . . there is no need to have a distinct requirement expressly requiring the Transmission Operator to ‘schedule’ sufficient resources.’’ 52 NERC also states ‘‘that the second sentence of Requirement R2 constitutes guidance or a measure which does not warrant a mandatory requirement provision.’’ 53 Discussion 38. NERC contends that Reliability Standards TOP–001–4 and TOP–002–4 require, among other things, transmission operators to perform an operational planning analyses and determine System Operating Limits to assess whether planned next-day operations will exceed those limits and develop a plan to address those potential exceedances. However, the proposed retirement of Reliability Standard VAR–001–5, Requirement R2 assumes that, even in the absence of a specific requirement, if the transmission operator identifies potential System Operating Limit exceedances based on this analysis, the transmission operator will develop and implement an Operating Plan to mitigate the potential exceedances. We determine that relying on such an assumption may negatively impact reliability given the significant role that scheduling adequate reactive resources plays in the overall operation of Reliability Standard VAR–001–5. We also determine that retiring Requirement R2 is contrary to the stated purpose of Reliability Standard VAR–001–5, which is to ‘‘ensure that voltage levels, reactive 50 Id. 51 Id. at 20–21. at 21. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS 52 Id. 53 The second sentence of Requirements R2 states, ‘‘Transmission Operators can provide sufficient reactive resources through various means including, but not limited to, reactive generation scheduling, transmission line and reactive resource switching, and using controllable load.’’ VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Feb 05, 2020 Jkt 250001 flows and reactive resources are monitored, controlled and maintained within limits in Real-time to protect equipment and the reliable operation of the Interconnection.’’ Accordingly, we propose to remand proposed Reliability Standard VAR–001–6 in order to retain Requirement R2 because it is the only requirement that explicitly requires transmission operators to schedule reactive resources.54 39. While Reliability Standards TOP– 001–4 and TOP–002–4 address situations involving the possible need to schedule reactive resources, they are not adequate substitutes for the explicit obligation in Requirement R2 of Reliability Standard VAR–001–5 requiring transmission operators to schedule enough reactive resources to regulate voltage levels under all system conditions. Reliability Standard TOP– 001–4, Requirement R10 only requires the transmission operator to monitor facilities within its area (Requirement R10.1); to monitor the status of Remedial Action Schemes within its area (Requirement R10.2), to monitor non-bulk electric system facilities within its area (Requirement R10.3); to obtain and use status, voltages, and flow data for facilities outside its area (Requirement R10.4); to obtain and use the status of Remedial Action Schemes outside its area (Requirement R10.5); and to obtain and use status, voltages, and flow data for non-bulk electric system facilities outside its area (Requirement R10.6). Therefore, we determine that a plain reading of the relevant requirements cited by NERC in its petition indicates that the action of scheduling any type of resources is not required outside of Reliability Standard VAR–001–5, Requirement R2. 40. Additionally, Reliability Standards TOP–001–4 and TOP–002–4 do not require the transmission operator 54 When seeking approval of Reliability Standard VAR–001–4, NERC addressed the significance of Requirement R2, stating that ‘‘the primary factor in maintaining voltage stability is having the appropriate amount of Reactive Power on the system. Proposed Requirement R2 helps ensure that sufficient reactive resources are online and scheduled in Real-time.’’ NERC, Petition, Docket No. RD14–11–000, at 20 (filed June 9, 2014). When NERC conducted a periodic review of Reliability Standard VAR–001–4.1 in 2017, periodic review team found that the Reliability Standard met its objective and therefore no revisions were necessary. NERC, Periodic Review Recommendations: VAR– 001–4.1—Voltage and Reactive Control (May 19, 2017). Further, the periodic review team determined that no requirements satisfied the criteria for retirement. Id. at 4. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 to implement mitigation plans: Instead, the transmission operator need only analyze and develop a plan to address a potential System Operating Limit. 41. Accordingly, we disagree with NERC’s assertion that Reliability Standard VAR–001–5, Requirement R2 is duplicative of other existing Reliability Standard requirements, and we believe that eliminating Requirement R2 will create an unacceptable risk that voltage, reactive flows, and reactive resources will not be controlled and maintained within System Operating Limits. Therefore, pursuant to section 215(d)(4) of the FPA, we propose to remand proposed Reliability Standard VAR–001–6 in order to retain Requirement R2 of currently-effective Reliability Standard VAR–001–5. III. Information Collection Statement 42. The information collection requirements contained in this Proposed Rule are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.55 OMB’s regulations require approval of certain information collection requirements imposed by agency rules.56 Upon approval of a collection of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of this rule will not be penalized for failing to respond to these collections of information unless the collections of information display a valid OMB control number. The Commission solicits comments on the Commission’s need for this information, whether the information will have practical utility, the accuracy of the burden estimates, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected or retained, and any suggested methods for minimizing respondents’ burden, including the use of automated information techniques. 43. The Commission estimates that the proposed rule, which would retire 74 requirements of Reliability Standards without adding any new obligations on registered entities, would result in a total reduction in burden for industry of 151,340.2 hours. The Commission based the burden reduction estimates on staff experience, knowledge, and expertise. 55 44 56 5 E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM U.S.C. 3507(d). CFR 1320. 06FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 25 / Thursday, February 6, 2020 / Proposed Rules 6837 PROPOSED REDUCTIONS DUE TO NOPR IN DOCKET NOS. RM19–16 & RM19–17 Reliability standard & requirement Type 57 and number of entity Number of annual responses per entity Total number of responses Average number of burden hours per response Total burden hours (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) FERC–725A FAC–013–2 ................................. RC (12) ....................................... 8.33 100 26.67 2,667 INT–006–4, R3.1, R4, R5, R5.1, R5.2, R5.3, R5.4, R5.5. INT–004–3.1 ............................... INT–010–2.1 ............................... INT–009–2.1, R2 ........................ MOD–001–1a .............................. MOD–004–1 ................................ MOD–008–1 ................................ MOD–028–2 ................................ MOD–020–0 ................................ MOD–029–2a .............................. MOD–030–3 ................................ BA/TSP (171) ............................. 1 171 56.3 9,627 BA (99) ....................................... BA (99) ....................................... BA (99) ....................................... TOP/TSP (240) ........................... TOP (168) ................................... TOP (168) ................................... TOP/TSP (240) ........................... TP/RP/DP/BA (780) .................... TOP/TSP/TP/BA (533) ............... TOP/TSP/TP/BA (533) ............... 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 99 99 99 480 168 168 240 780 533 533 56.3 56.3 56.3 55.3 48.9 48.9 48.9 14.4 49.8 49.8 5,574 5,574 5,574 26,544 8,215.2 8,215.2 11,736 11,232 26,543 26,543 Sub-Total for FERC–725A .. 3,142 ........................................... ........................ 3,470 ........................ 148,044.4 422 0.8 337.6 FERC–725A(1C) TOP–001–4, R19 & R22 ............ Sub-Total for FERC– 725A(1C). BA/TO/GO/DP (1,696) ................ .25 1,696 ........................................... 422 337.6 FERC–725G1 PRC–004–5(i), R4 ...................... Sub-Total for FERC–725G1 TO/GO/DP (1,597) ..................... .41 1,597 ........................................... 659 4.36 659 2,874.6 2,874.6 lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS FERC–725Z IRO–002–6, R1 ........................... RC (12) ....................................... Sub-Total for FERC–725Z ... 12 ................................................ 14 83.6 Total Reductions Due to NOPR in RM19–16 & RM19–17. ................................................ 4,565 151,340.2 Titles: FERC–725A, Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk Power System; FERC–725A(1C), Mandatory Reliability Standards for Bulk-Power System: Reliability Standard TOP–001– 4; FERC–725G1, Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System: Reliability Standard PRC–004–5(i); FERC–725Z, Mandatory Reliability Standards: IRO Reliability Standards. Action: Proposed Reductions to Existing Collections of Information FERC–725A, FERC–725A(1C), and FERC–725Z; and Proposed Elimination of Collections of Information, and FERC–725G1. 57 RC = Reliability Coordinator; BA = Balancing Authority; TSP = Transmission Service Provider; TOP = Transmission Operator; TO = Transmission Owner; GO = Generator Owner; DP = Distribution Provider; TP = Transmission Provider; and RP = Resource Planner. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Feb 05, 2020 Jkt 250001 1.17 OMB Control Nos: 1902–0244 (FERC– 725A); 1902–0298 (FERC– 725A(1C));1902–0284 (FERC–725G1); and 1902–0276 (FERC–725Z). Respondents: Business or other for profit, and not for profit institutions. Frequency of Responses: On occasion (and proposed for deletion). 44. Necessity of the Information: This proceeding proposes to approve the retirement of ten Reliability Standards in their entirety and five revised Reliability Standards, reflecting a total of 74 retired requirements identified by NERC. The proposed retirements either: (1) Provide little or no reliability benefit; (2) are administrative in nature or relate expressly to commercial or business practices; or (3) are redundant with other Reliability Standards. 45. Internal review: The Commission has reviewed NERC’s proposal and PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 14 5.97 83.6 determined that its action is necessary to implement section 215 of the FPA. The Commission has assured itself, by means of its internal review, that there is specific, objective support for the burden reduction estimates associated with the information requirements proposed for retirement. 46. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of the Executive Director, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, email: DataClearance@ferc.gov, phone: (202) 502–8663, fax: (202) 273–0873]. 47. Comments concerning the information collections and requirements proposed for retirement in this NOPR and the associated burden estimates, should be sent to the E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM 06FEP1 6838 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 25 / Thursday, February 6, 2020 / Proposed Rules Commission in this docket and may also be sent to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]. For security reasons, comments should be sent by email to OMB at the following email address: oira_submission@omb.eop.gov. Please refer to the appropriate OMB Control Number(s) and Docket Nos. RM19–16–000 and RM19–17–000 in your submission. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with PROPOSALS IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification 48. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 58 generally requires a description and analysis of rulemakings that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The RFA mandates consideration of regulatory alternatives that accomplish the stated objectives of a rule and that minimize any significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Small Business Administration’s Office of Size Standards develops the numerical definition of a small business.59 The Small Business Administration has established size standards, for the types of affected entities (noted in the table above), that range from a maximum of 250–1,000 employees for an entity and its affiliates to be considered small. 49. The Commission seeks comment on the proposed reduction of burden and cost on small business entities. The Commission estimates the total industry reduction in burden for all entities (large and small) to be 151,340.2 hours (or approximately 33 hours (rounded) per response). The Commission believes that this proposal will reduce burden and cost for all affected entities. 50. Based on the information above, the Commission certifies that the proposed reductions will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, no initial regulatory flexibility analysis is required. V. Environmental Analysis 51. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.60 The Commission has categorically excluded certain actions from this requirement as not having a 58 5 U.S.C. 601–612. CFR 121.101. 60 Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897 (Dec. 17, 1987), FERC Stats. & Regs., Regulations Preambles 1986–1990 ¶ 30,783 (1987). 59 13 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:21 Feb 05, 2020 Jkt 250001 significant effect on the human environment. Included in the exclusion are rules that are clarifying, corrective, or procedural or that do not substantially change the effect of the regulations being amended.61 The actions proposed here fall within this categorical exclusion in the Commission’s regulations. VI. Comment Procedures 52. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on the matters and issues proposed in this document to be adopted, including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due April 6, 2020. Comments must refer to Docket Nos. RM19–16–000 and RM19–17–000, and must include the commenter’s name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address in their comments. 53. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission’s website at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing. 54. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. 55. All comments will be placed in the Commission’s public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters. VII. Document Availability 56. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the internet through the Commission’s Home Page (http:// www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission’s Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE, Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426. 57. From the Commission’s Home Page on the internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of 61 18 PO 00000 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii). Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field. 58. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission’s website during normal business hours from the Commission’s Online Support at (202) 502–6652 (toll free at 1–866–208–3676) or email at ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov, or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502–8371, TTY (202) 502–8659. Email the Public Reference Room at public.referenceroom@ferc.gov. By direction of the Commission. Issued: January 23, 2020. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2020–02171 Filed 2–5–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P POSTAL SERVICE 39 CFR Part 501 Authorization To Manufacture and Distribute Postage Evidencing Systems Postal ServiceTM. Proposed rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Postal Service proposes to amend its Postage Evidencing Systems regulations. These changes set forth the procedure to become an authorized Postage Evidencing System (PES) provider. The changes also update or create new definitions, update all references of the Office of Payment Technology to the Office of Commercial Payment, and reorganize or reword certain provisions currently in the regulations for clarity. DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 9, 2020. ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to: Director, Commercial Payment, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 3500, Washington, DC 20260. Email and faxed comments are not accepted. You may inspect and photocopy all written comments, by appointment only, at USPS® Headquarters Library, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, 11th Floor North, Washington, DC 20260. These records are available for review on Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., by calling 202–268–2904. All submitted comments and attachments are part of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM 06FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 25 (Thursday, February 6, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 6831-6838]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-02171]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 25 / Thursday, February 6, 2020 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 6831]]



DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

18 CFR Part 40

[Docket Nos. RM19-16-000 and RM19-17-000]


Electric Reliability Organization Proposal To Retire Requirements 
in Reliability Standards Under the NERC Standards Efficiency Review

AGENCY: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) proposes 
to approve the retirement of 74 Reliability Standard requirements. The 
North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the Commission-
certified Electric Reliability Organization, submitted the proposed 
retirements for Commission approval. The Commission also proposes to 
remand one requirement submitted for retirement by NERC and seeks 
additional information from NERC on two requirements submitted for 
retirement.

DATES: Comments are due April 6, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Comments, identified by docket number, may be filed in the 
following ways:
     Electronic Filing through http://www.ferc.gov. Documents 
created electronically using word processing software should be filed 
in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not a scanned format.
     Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically 
may mail or hand-deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, 
Washington, DC 20426.
    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Comment 
Procedures Section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andres Lopez (Technical Information), 
Office of Electric Reliability, Division of Reliability Standards and 
Security, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, 
Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-6128. Mark Bennett (Legal 
Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 
502-8524.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    1. Pursuant to section 215(d)(2) of the Federal Power Act (FPA),\1\ 
the Commission proposes to approve to retire 74 of the 77 Reliability 
Standard requirements requested for retirement by the North American 
Electric Reliability Corporation's (NERC).\2\ As explained in NERC's 
two petitions, the 74 requirements we propose to approve: (1) Provide 
little or no reliability benefit; (2) are administrative in nature or 
relate expressly to commercial or business practices; or (3) are 
redundant with other Reliability Standards. NERC's justifications for 
retiring the 74 requirements are largely consistent with the 
Commission-approved bases for retiring Reliability Standard 
requirements articulated in prior proceedings.\3\ The Commission also 
proposes to approve the associated violation risk factors, violation 
severity levels, implementation plan, and effective dates proposed by 
NERC.
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    \1\ 16 U.S.C. 824o(d)(2).
    \2\ The proposed retirements will result in the elimination of 
10 Reliability Standards and the creation of modified versions of 
another seven Reliability Standards.
    \3\ North American Electric Reliability Corp., 138 FERC ] 
61,193, at P 81 (March 2012 Order), order on reh'g and 
clarification, 139 FERC ] 61,168 (2012); Electric Reliability 
Organization Proposal to Retire Requirements in Reliability 
Standards, Order No. 788, 145 FERC ] 61,147, at P 1 (2013).
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    2. The Commission believes that the proposed retirements will 
further the efficiency of the Reliability Standards program by reducing 
duplicative or otherwise unnecessary regulatory burden. Further, we 
agree with NERC that the retirement of the Reliability Standard 
provisions will benefit overall reliability by allowing registered 
entities to focus their resources on complying with those Reliability 
Standard requirements that more effectively promote the reliable 
operation and planning of the nation's bulk-power system.\4\
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    \4\ See NERC, Docket No. RM19-17-000, Petition at 7.
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    3. With respect to other requirements that NERC seeks to retire, 
the Commission seeks more information regarding NERC's justification 
for retiring Reliability Standard FAC-008-3, Requirements R7 and R8. As 
discussed below, NERC's petition avers that the two requirements are 
redundant of other Reliability Standards, but NERC does not explain how 
certain elements of these requirements are redundant. The Commission's 
final determination on the retirement of these two requirements will be 
based on the comments received from NERC and others.
    4. In addition, pursuant to section 215(d)(4) of the FPA, the 
Commission proposes to remand Reliability Standard VAR-001-6.\5\ The 
new version of the Reliability Standard would eliminate Requirement R2 
from currently-effective Reliability Standard VAR-001-5, which requires 
transmission operators to schedule sufficient reactive resources to 
regulate voltage levels under normal and contingency conditions. As 
discussed below, we disagree with NERC's justification for retirement 
that Requirement R2 is redundant or not necessary for reliability. 
Accordingly, we propose to remand Reliability Standard VAR-001-6 in 
order to retain this requirement.
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    \5\ 16 U.S.C. 824o(d)(4).
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I. Background

A. Section 215 of the FPA

    5. Section 215 of the FPA requires the Commission-certified 
Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) to develop mandatory and 
enforceable Reliability Standards, subject to Commission review and 
approval. Once approved, the Reliability Standards may be enforced in 
the United States by the ERO subject to Commission oversight, or by the 
Commission independently.\6\ Pursuant to the requirements of FPA 
section 215, the Commission established a process to select and certify 
an ERO \7\

[[Page 6832]]

and, subsequently, certified NERC as the ERO.\8\
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    \6\ Id. 824o(e)(3).
    \7\ Rules Concerning Certification of the Electric Reliability 
Organization; and Procedures for the Establishment, Approval, and 
Enforcement of Electric Reliability Standards, Order No. 672, 114 
FERC ] 61,104, order on reh'g, Order No. 672-A, 114 FERC ] 61,328 
(2006).
    \8\ North American Electric Reliability Corp., 116 FERC ] 
61,062, order on reh'g and compliance, 117 FERC ] 61,126 (2006), 
aff'd sub nom. Alcoa Inc. v. FERC, 564 F.3d 1342 (D.C. Cir. 2009).
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B. Prior Retirements of Reliability Standard Requirements

    6. In the March 2012 Order, the Commission observed that NERC's 
compliance program could be made more efficient by removing existing 
requirements deemed unnecessary for reliability.\9\ The Commission 
explained that if NERC believes certain Reliability Standards or 
requirements should be revised or removed, ``we invite NERC to make 
specific proposals to the Commission identifying the Standards or 
requirements and setting forth in detail the technical basis for its 
belief.'' \10\ Further, the Commission encouraged NERC ``to propose 
appropriate mechanisms to identify and remove from the Commission-
approved Reliability Standards unnecessary or redundant requirements.'' 
\11\
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    \9\ March 2012 Order, 138 FERC ] 61,193 at P 81.
    \10\ Id.
    \11\ Id.
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    7. In response, in February 2013, NERC proposed to retire 34 
requirements within 19 Reliability Standards based on the justification 
that the requirements ``are redundant or otherwise unnecessary'' and 
that ``violations of these requirements . . . pose a lesser risk to the 
reliability of the Bulk-Power System.'' \12\ NERC explained that the 
proposed retirements were based upon three major criteria: (1) Whether 
a proposed retirement would create a reliability gap; (2) whether the 
requirement in question is administrative; involves data collection, 
retention, documentation, periodic updates or reporting; is a 
commercial or business practice; or is redundant; and (3) consideration 
of responses to seven questions regarding the proposed retirement, 
including whether the requirement was part of a ``find, fix and track'' 
filing, the requirement's violation risk factor level, and whether the 
requirement is part of on-going standards development project.\13\
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    \12\ NERC, Petition, Docket No. RM13-8-000, at 2 (filed Feb. 28, 
2013).
    \13\ Id. at 4.
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    8. On November 21, 2013, the Commission approved the retirements 
that NERC proposed, and determined that the retirements ``meet the 
benchmarks'' set forth in the March 2012 Order that ``requirements 
proposed for retirement either: (1) Provide little protection for Bulk-
Power System reliability; or (2) are redundant with other aspects of 
the Reliability Standards.'' \14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ Electric Reliability Organization Proposal to Retire 
Requirements in Reliability Standards, Order No. 788, 145 FERC ] 
61,147 (2013).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. NERC Petitions

1. NERC Standards Efficiency Review Project
    9. NERC states that the proposed retirements are the product of its 
Standards Efficiency Review (SER) Project. NERC explains that the SER 
Project began in 2017 ``to achieve [NERC's] long-term strategic goal of 
establishing risk-based controls to minimize [Bulk-Power System] 
reliability risk while also driving operational efficiencies and 
effectiveness.'' \15\ NERC states that in Phase 1 of the SER Project, 
teams of industry experts conducted a risk-based analysis of non-CIP 
Reliability Standards.\16\ The purpose of this review, according to 
NERC, was ``to identify Reliability Standard requirements that provide 
little or no benefit to reliability and should be retired.'' \17\ NERC 
maintains that, unlike the periodic reviews \18\ of Reliability 
Standards performed by NERC pursuant to the NERC Rules of Procedure, 
the SER Project involved ``exploring the relationships between the 
different Reliability Standards in a deeper way than would be feasible 
during a targeted periodic review . . . [and] allowed NERC to identify 
requirements that are not necessary for reliability or that are 
redundant to other requirements.'' \19\
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    \15\ Docket No. RM19-16-000 Petition at 3; Docket No. RM19-17-
000 Petition at 4.
    \16\ NERC states that Phase 2 of the SER Project will ``consider 
recommendations for Reliability Standard revisions that would 
further improve the efficiency of the body of NERC Reliability 
Standards, such as through consolidation of Reliability Standard 
requirements . . . [and will] consider recommendations for 
standards-based improvements that would further reduce 
inefficiencies and promote effectiveness.'' Docket No. RM19-16-000 
Petition at 6-7; Docket No. RM19-17-000 Petition at 7.
    \17\ Docket No. RM19-16-000 Petition at 5; Docket No. RM19-17-
000 Petition at 6.
    \18\ The NERC Rules of Procedure require a periodic review of 
each Reliability Standard; and they provide for a five-year cyclical 
review of Reliability Standards approved by the American National 
Standards Institute (ANSI) and ten-year cyclical review for 
Reliability Standards not approved by ANSI. See NERC Rules of 
Procedure, Section 317 and Appendix 3A (Standards Process Manual), 
section 13.0.
    \19\ Docket No. RM19-16-000 Petition at 5; Docket No. RM19-17-
000 Petition at 6.
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    10. NERC contends that the SER Project ``was conducted in an open 
and transparent manner, with broad industry participation.'' \20\ NERC 
states that it initiated the standards development process to consider 
the retirement recommendations generated by the SER Project.
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    \20\ Docket No. RM19-16-000 Petition at 5-6; Docket No. RM19-17-
000 Petition at 7.
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2. IRO, TOP and VAR Petition (Docket No. RM19-16-000)
    11. On June 7, 2019, in Docket No. RM19-16-000, NERC submitted for 
Commission approval new versions of three Reliability Standards: IRO-
002-7 (Reliability Coordination--Monitoring and Analysis), TOP-001-5 
(Transmission Operations), and VAR-001-6 (Voltage and Reactive 
Control). NERC explains that approval of the new versions would result 
in the retirement of four requirements from the currently-effective 
versions of the Reliability Standards.\21\ Three of the existing 
requirements in Reliability Standards IRO-002 and TOP-001 require the 
reliability coordinator, transmission operator, and balancing authority 
to have data exchange capabilities with entities having data needed to 
perform operational planning analyses and to develop operating plans 
for next-day operations. The fourth requirement, in Reliability 
Standard VAR-001, requires the transmission operator to schedule the 
reactive resources needed to regulate voltage levels under normal and 
contingency conditions. NERC contends that these four requirements are 
redundant and not necessary ``because the performance required by these 
requirements is inherent to the performance of other Reliability 
Standard requirements.'' \22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ The proposed revised versions of the IRO, TOP and VAR 
Reliability Standards are not attached to the NOPR. The complete 
text of the Reliability Standards is available on the Commission's 
eLibrary document retrieval system in Docket No. RM19-16-000 and is 
posted on the ERO's website, http://www.nerc.com.
    \22\ NERC IRO, TOP and VAR Petition at 7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    12. In particular, NERC maintains that the data exchange capability 
requirement in Reliability Standard IRO-002-5, Requirement R1 is 
covered by Reliability Standard IRO-008-2, Requirement R1, which 
obligates the reliability coordinator to perform operational planning 
analyses to assess whether the planned operations for the next-day will 
exceed System Operating Limits and Interconnection Reliability 
Operating Limits within its Wide Area. NERC asserts that ``to perform 
the required operational planning analyses, the Reliability Coordinator 
must have the data it deems necessary from those entities that possess 
it.'' \23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ Id. at 14-15.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    13. Additionally, regarding data exchange, NERC cites Reliability 
Standard IRO-010-2 (Reliability Coordinator Data Specification and

[[Page 6833]]

Collection) and its stated purpose of preventing instability, 
uncontrolled separation, or cascading outages ``by ensuring the 
Reliability Coordinator has the data it needs to monitor and assess the 
operation of its Reliability Coordinator Area.'' \24\ NERC states that 
under Reliability Standard IRO-010-2, Requirements R1, R2 and R3, the 
reliability coordinator must specify the data necessary for it to 
perform its operational planning analyses and provide the 
specifications to the entities from which it needs data who then must 
comply with the data request using a mutually agreeable format and 
security protocols.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ Id. at 15.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    14. NERC observes that the performance of the requirements it cites 
is premised on the existence of data exchange capabilities, 
``regardless of whether a separate requirement expressly requires the 
Reliability Coordinator to have data exchange capabilities in place.'' 
\25\ NERC asserts that Reliability Standard IRO-002-5, Requirement R1 
provides no additional reliability benefit and ``is therefore 
unnecessary and redundant and should be retired.'' \26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ Id.
    \26\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    15. NERC likewise states that Requirements R19 and R22 of 
Reliability Standard TOP-001-4 merely require transmission operators 
and balancing authorities respectively to have data exchange 
capabilities with entities from which they need data to perform 
operational planning analyses (transmission operators) and next-day 
Operating Plans (balancing authorities). NERC maintains, however, that 
Reliability Standard TOP-002-4 Requirement R1, requires a transmission 
operator to perform an operational planning analyses to determine 
whether next-day operations within its area will exceed System 
Operating Limits. Also, NERC states that Requirement R4 requires each 
balancing authority to have a next-day Operating Plan addressing 
expected generation resource commitment and dispatch, Interchange 
scheduling and related matters. NERC asserts that to satisfy these 
requirements, ``each Transmission Operator and Balancing Authority must 
have the data it deems necessary from those entities that possess it.'' 
\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ Id. at 16.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    16. NERC also cites to Reliability Standard TOP-003-3 (Operational 
Reliability Data) whose purpose is ``to ensure that the Transmission 
Operator and Balancing Authority have data needed to fulfill their 
operational and planning responsibilities.'' NERC contends that the 
requirements in Reliability Standard TOP-003-3 largely mirror the 
requirements in Reliability Standard IRO-010-2 discussed above, and 
thus, as with Reliability Standard IRO-010-2, transmission operators 
and balancing authorities must have data exchange capabilities with its 
reporting entities to satisfy the requirements of Reliability TOP-003-
3. Therefore, NERC contends that Reliability Standards TOP-001-4, 
Requirements R19 and R22 are unnecessary and redundant and should be 
retired.
    17. With respect to proposed Reliability Standard VAR-001-6, NERC 
maintains that the revised version retires existing requirement R2, 
which requires each transmission operator to schedule ``sufficient 
reactive resources to regulate voltage levels under normal and 
Contingency conditions.'' NERC contends that the reliability need for 
sufficient reactive resources is adequately addressed by existing 
requirements in several other Reliability Standards and, therefore, is 
unnecessary. In particular, NERC states that Reliability Standards TOP-
001-4, Requirement R10 and TOP-002-4, Requirement R1, require 
transmission operators to determine System Operating Limits and perform 
an operational planning analyses to assess whether planned next-day 
operations will exceed those limits and plan for addressing them. NERC 
explains that Reliability Standard TOP-001-4 requires each transmission 
operator to perform Real-time Assessments every 30 minutes to identify 
possible System Operating Limit exceedances and initiate its Operating 
Plan to mitigate them. NERC states that ``Operating Plans address the 
use of reactive resources if needed to operate within System Operating 
Limits, as well as any other adjustments that may be needed.'' \28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ Id. at 20.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    18. NERC observes that each transmission operator uses multiple 
tools to regulate voltage levels, including reactive control and Real-
time Contingency Analysis, that ``allow the Transmission Operator to 
quantify the use of reactive resources. As such, a separate requirement 
specifying that the Transmission Operator must schedule `sufficient' 
reactive resources for normal and Contingency conditions is redundant 
and unnecessary for reliability.'' \29\ Additionally, NERC states that 
each planning authority and transmission planner must assess a broad 
range of conditions and probable contingencies, including available 
reactive resources, under system studies required under Reliability 
Standard TPL-001-4, and develop a Corrective Action Plan \30\ to 
address reactive resource shortfalls, if needed. NERC concludes that 
given this ``comprehensive and interdependent framework addressing 
System voltage needs in the operations and planning horizons . . . 
there is no need to have a distinct requirement expressly requiring the 
Transmission Operator to `schedule' sufficient resources.'' \31\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ Id. at 20-21.
    \30\ NERC defines Corrective Action Plan as ``A list of actions 
and an associated time table for implementation to remedy a specific 
problem.'' Glossary of Terms Used in NERC Reliability Standards 
(August 12, 2019).
    \31\ Id. at 21.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    19. NERC requests that the Commission approve the implementation 
plan, attached to NERC's petition as Exhibit B, and the associated 
violation risk factors and violation severity levels described in 
Exhibit D. The implementation plan provides that proposed Reliability 
Standards IRO-002-7, TOP-001-5, and VAR-001-6 would become effective on 
the first day of the first calendar quarter that is three months after 
regulatory approval. The currently-effective versions of the 
Reliability Standards would be retired immediately prior to the 
effective date of the revised Reliability Standards. NERC explains that 
the requested timeline accounts for the time entities will need to 
update their systems and related documentation.
3. FAC, INT, MOD and PRC Petition (Docket No. RM19-17-000)
    20. On June 7, 2019, in Docket No. RM19-17-000, NERC submitted for 
Commission approval the proposed retirement of ten currently-effective 
Reliability Standards in their entirety without replacement.\32\ 
Additionally, NERC's petition includes four proposed revised 
Reliability Standards reflecting the retirement of certain requirements 
from the currently-effective versions that NERC asserts are not needed 
for reliability: FAC-008-4 (Facility Ratings), INT-006-5 (Evaluation of 
Interchange Transactions), INT-009-3

[[Page 6834]]

(Implementation of Interchange) and PRC-004-6 (Protection System 
Misoperation Identification and Correction).\33\ NERC asserts that its 
proposals would not adversely impact reliability, but rather they 
``would benefit reliability by allowing entities to focus their 
resources on those Reliability Standard requirements that promote the 
reliable operation and planning of the BPS [Bulk-Power System] and 
avoid unnecessary regulatory burden.'' \34\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ Reliability Standards FAC-013-2 (Assessment of Transfer 
Capability for the Near-term Transmission Planning Horizon), INT-
004-3.1 (Dynamic Transfers), INT-010-2.1 (Interchange Initiation and 
Modification for Reliability), MOD-001-1a (Available Transmission 
System Capability), MOD-004-1 (Capacity Benefit Margin), MOD-008-1 
(Transmission Reliability Margin Calculation Methodology), MOD-020-0 
(Providing Interruptible Demands and Direct Control Load Management 
Data to System Operations and Reliability Coordinators), MOD-028-2 
(Area Interchange Methodology), MOD-029-2a (Rated System Path 
Methodology), and MOD-030-3 (Flowgate Methodology).
    \33\ The proposed revised versions of the FAC, INT and PRC 
Reliability Standards are not attached to the NOPR. The complete 
text of the Reliability Standards is available on the Commission's 
eLibrary document retrieval system in Docket No. RM19-17-000 and is 
posted on the ERO's website, http://www.nerc.com.
    \34\ Docket No. RM19-17-000 Petition at 7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    21. NERC contends that the full FAC, INT, MOD and PRC Reliability 
Standards proposed for retirement are not necessary and that removing 
them would not adversely affect reliability.\35\ NERC states that 
retirement of the ten full Reliability Standards is justified because 
they are primarily administrative in nature or largely related to 
commercial or business practices, and therefore no longer serve a 
reliability purpose.\36\ For example, NERC states that the transfer 
capability assessment required under Reliability Standard FAC-013-2 
``serves only a market function'' and ``is not an indicator of [bulk 
electric system] reliability.'' \37\ In supporting its conclusion that 
Reliability Standard INT-010-2.1 primarily relates to commercial and 
business practices, NERC notes that in 2013 the NERC Independent 
Experts Review Panel recommended retiring the previous version of the 
Reliability Standard ``due to overlap with the NAESB Electronic Tagging 
Functional Specification.'' \38\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ The MOD A Reliability Standards proposed for retirement 
(MOD-001-1a, MOD-004-1, MOD-008-1, MOD-028-2, MOD-029-2a and MOD-
030-3) are expected to be replaced by equivalent North American 
Energy Standards Board (NAESB) business practice standards. The 
Commission intends to coordinate the effective dates of the 
retirement of the MOD A Reliability Standards with the successor 
NAESB business practice standards.
    \36\ Id. at 13-24.
    \37\ Id. at 13.
    \38\ Id. at 16-19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    22. Similarly, regarding the MOD Reliability Standards, NERC states 
that ``[Available Transfer Capability] and [Available Flowgate 
Methodology], as well as e-Tags, are commercially-focused elements 
facilitating interchange and balancing of interchange,'' and that 
system operators maintain reliability by monitoring Real-time flows 
based on System Operating Limits and Interconnection Reliability 
Operating Limits.\39\ In particular, NERC explains that information on 
Interruptible Demands and Direct Control Load Management required under 
Reliability Standard MOD-020-0 is not useful for transmission operators 
and reliability coordinators, ``who must plan and operate the [Bulk-
Power System] within System Operating Limits and Interconnection 
Reliability Operating Limits under the TOP and IRO Reliability 
Standards.'' \40\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ Id. at 21.
    \40\ Id. at 23.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    23. Regarding NERC's proposed revised Reliability Standards, NERC 
states that the data provision obligations of currently-effective 
Reliability Standard FAC-008-3, Requirements R7 and R8 are redundant 
with Reliability Standards MOD-032-1, IRO-010-2 and TOP-003-3. NERC 
asserts that Requirements R3.1, R4 and R5 of currently-effective 
Reliability Standard INT-006-4 ``provide little, if any, benefit or 
protection to the reliability operation of the [Bulk-Power System]'' 
\41\ and that the substance of Requirements R4 and R5 in particular 
relate to commercial or business practices and are better addressed 
through the balancing authority's e-Tag Authority Service.\42\ Also, 
NERC states that Requirement R1 of currently-effective Reliability 
Standard INT-009-2.1 is being revised to remove the reference to 
Reliability Standard INT-010, which is also proposed for retirement, 
and Requirement R2 is redundant with Reliability Standard BAL-005-1, 
Requirement R7.\43\ Finally, NERC states that it has determined that 
rather than the ``specific, recurring and inflexible timeframe'' set 
forth in Requirement R4 of currently-effective Reliability Standard 
PRC-004-5 for identifying the cause of a protection system 
misoperation, ``it would be more effective to have entities investigate 
the causes of misoperations according to their own internal control 
policies and procedures.'' \44\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \41\ Id. at 29.
    \42\ Id. at 29-31.
    \43\ Id. at 31-32.
    \44\ Id. at 34.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    24. NERC requests that the Commission approve the implementation 
plan, attached to NERC's petition as Exhibit B, and the associated 
violation risk factors and violation severity levels, attached to 
NERC's petition as Exhibit D, which are generally unchanged from the 
currently-effective versions. For the Reliability Standards retired in 
their entirety, NERC proposes an effective date that is immediately 
upon regulatory approval of the retirement. NERC also seeks to retire 
the currently-effective Reliability Standards FAC-008-3, INT-006-4, 
INT-009-2.1, and PRC-004-5(i) immediately prior to the effective date 
of their new versions.

II. Discussion

    25. Pursuant to section 215(d)(2) of the FPA, the Commission 
proposes to approve NERC's request to retire 74 Reliability Standard 
requirements as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or 
preferential, and in the public interest. NERC's petitions provide an 
adequate basis to conclude that the requirements proposed for 
retirement: (1) Provide little or no reliability benefit; (2) are 
administrative in nature or relate expressly to commercial or business 
practices; or (3) are redundant with other Reliability Standards. 
NERC's justifications for retiring the 74 requirements are largely 
consistent with the retirement standard set forth by the Commission in 
Order No. 788 and with the determination that ``requirements proposed 
for retirement can be removed from the Reliability Standards with 
little effect on reliability and an increase in efficiency of the ERO 
compliance program.'' \45\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ Order No. 788, 145 FERC ] 61,147 at P 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    26. The proposal above does not include NERC's request to retire 
Reliability Standard FAC-008-3, Requirements R7 and R8 and Reliability 
Standard VAR-001-5, Requirement R2. While NERC asserts that Reliability 
Standards MOD-032-1, IRO-010-2 and TOP-003-3 provide a basis for 
retiring Reliability Standard FAC-008-3, Requirements R7 and R8, we 
seek additional information on these proposed retirements because this 
rationale does not address elements of Requirements R7 and R8 that do 
not appear to be redundant.
    27. In addition, we disagree with NERC's assertion that Reliability 
Standard VAR-001-5, Requirement R2 is redundant or not necessary for 
reliability because we construe the requirement as essential to 
accomplish the purpose of the Reliability Standard. Accordingly, 
pursuant to section 215(d)(4) of the FPA, we propose to remand 
Reliability Standard VAR-001-6 in order to retain Requirement R2 in 
currently-effective Reliability Standard VAR-001-5.
    28. Below, we discuss the following issues: (A) Proposed retirement 
of Reliability Standard FAC-008-3, Requirements R7 and R8; and (B) 
proposed retirement of Reliability Standard VAR-001-5, Requirement R2.

[[Page 6835]]

A. Proposed Retirement of Reliability Standard FAC-008-3, Requirements 
R7 and R8

NERC Petition
    29. Reliability Standard FAC-008-3, Requirements R7 and R8 require 
generator owners and transmission owners, respectively, to provide 
facility ratings and related information to requesting reliability 
coordinators, planning coordinators, transmission planners, 
transmission owners and transmission operators. NERC asserts that 
requirements in Reliability Standards MOD-032-1, IRO-010-2, and TOP-
003-3 render the data provision obligations of Requirements R7 and R8 
in Reliability Standard FAC-008-3 redundant and therefore unnecessary 
for reliability.
    30. To support its redundancy claim, NERC explains that under 
Reliability Standard MOD-032-1, generator owners and transmission 
owners must provide information on power capabilities and facility 
ratings (Requirement R2) to enable planning coordinators and 
transmission planners to ``jointly develop steady-state, dynamics, and 
short circuit modeling data requirements and reporting procedures for 
the Planning Coordinator's planning area'' (Requirement R1). NERC 
further explains that under Reliability Standard IRO-010-2, reliability 
coordinators must maintain ``a documented specification for the data 
necessary to perform its Operational Planning Analyses, Real-time 
monitoring, and Real-time Assessments. This data necessarily includes 
Facility Ratings as inputs to System Operating Limit monitoring.'' \46\ 
NERC notes that under Requirement R3, the transmission owner and 
generator owner must provide such data. Finally, NERC points out that 
under Reliability Standard TOP-003-3, the transmission operator must 
maintain data specifications (Requirement R1) and the transmission 
owner and generation owner must provide the requested data (Requirement 
R5). Relying on this framework of data specification and provision, 
NERC concludes that Reliability Standard FAC-008-3, Requirements R7 and 
R8 ``are now redundant to other more robust Reliability Standards and 
are no longer needed for reliability.'' \47\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ Id. at 28.
    \47\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Discussion
    31. We agree with NERC that the cited requirements in Reliability 
Standards MOD-032-1, IRO-010-2, and TOP-003-3 provide a basis for 
retiring certain elements of Reliability Standard FAC-008-3, 
Requirements R7 and R8. However, NERC's petition does not address other 
elements of Requirements R7 and R8 that do not appear to be redundant. 
In particular, Requirements R7 and R8 of the currently-effective 
Reliability Standard require generator owners and transmission owners, 
respectively, to provide facility ratings to several functional entity 
types, including transmission owners. While NERC is correct that the 
three Reliability Standards it cites collectively require generator 
owners and transmission owners to provide facility ratings to 
reliability coordinators, planning coordinators, transmission planners, 
and transmission operators, these three Reliability Standards do not 
require the provision of facility ratings to transmission owners. 
Therefore, it appears that, if approved, the retirement of Requirements 
R7 and R8 would eliminate the mandatory exchange of facility rating-
related information with transmission owners. This could, in turn, 
impact reliability since these requirements ensure that all 
transmission owners have accurate facility-related information in the 
models that they use to plan and operate the bulk electric system.
    32. Separately, Reliability Standards MOD-032-1, IRO-010-2, and 
TOP-003-3 do not address sub-requirement R8.1.2 of Reliability Standard 
FAC-008-3, relating to the identity of the next most limiting equipment 
of a requested facility. Further, these Reliability Standards also do 
not account for sub-requirement R8.2, which requires the identification 
and thermal rating of the existing next most limiting equipment of 
facilities with a thermal rating that limits the use of that facility 
by causing either an Interconnection Reliability Operating Limit, a 
limitation of Total Transfer Capability, an impediment to generator 
deliverability, or an impediment to service to a major load center as 
specified in FAC-008-3 (Requirement R8.2).\48\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ This requirement was developed in response to Order No. 
693. Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System, 
Order No. 693, 118 FERC ] 61,218, at P 756, order on reh'g, Order 
No. 693-A, 120 FERC ] 61,053 (2007); see also NERC, Petition, Docket 
No. RD11-10-000, at 11-13, 20-21 (filed Jun. 15, 2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    33. Considering the foregoing, while there is some overlap, 
Reliability Standard FAC-008-3, Requirements R7 and R8 do not appear to 
be entirely redundant of the other Reliability Standards cited by NERC. 
The retirement of these requirements would, therefore, result in the 
gaps described above. These non-redundant elements of Requirements R7 
and R8 are not addressed in the petition. Accordingly, the Commission 
seeks more information from NERC and others regarding how the elements 
of Reliability Standards MOD-032-1, IRO-010-2 and TOP-003-3 discussed 
above render Reliability Standard FAC-008-3, Requirements R7 and R8 
redundant. The Commission's final determination on the retirement of 
these two requirements will be based on the comments received from NERC 
and others.

B. Proposed Retirement of Reliability Standard VAR-001-5, Requirement 
R2

NERC Petition
    34. Reliability Standard VAR-001-5, Requirement R2 requires each 
transmission operator to schedule ``sufficient reactive resources to 
regulate voltage levels under normal and Contingency conditions.'' NERC 
maintains that the reliability need for sufficient reactive resources 
is adequately addressed by existing requirements in several other 
Reliability Standards and, therefore, is unnecessary and should be 
retired.
    35. In particular, NERC relies on Reliability Standard TOP-001-4, 
Requirement R10 and Reliability Standard TOP-002-4, Requirement R1, 
that require transmission operators to determine System Operating 
Limits and perform an OPA to assess whether planned next-day operations 
will exceed those limits and plan for addressing them. Reliability 
Standard TOP-001-4 requires each transmission operator to perform Real-
time Assessments every 30 minutes to identify possible System Operating 
Limit exceedances and initiate its Operating Plan to mitigate them. 
NERC states that ``Operating Plans address the use of reactive 
resources if needed to operate within System Operating Limits, as well 
as any other adjustments that may be needed.'' \49\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ Docket No. RM19-16-000 Petition at 20.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    36. NERC explains that each transmission operator uses multiple 
tools to regulate voltage levels, including reactive control and Real-
time Contingency Analysis. NERC maintains that ``[t]hese actions allow 
the Transmission Operator to quantify the use of reactive resources. As 
such, a separate requirement specifying that the Transmission Operator 
must schedule `sufficient' reactive resources for normal and 
Contingency conditions is

[[Page 6836]]

redundant and unnecessary for reliability.'' \50\ Additionally, NERC 
states that each planning authority and transmission planner must 
assess a broad range of conditions and probable contingencies, 
including available reactive resources, under System studies required 
under Reliability Standard TPL-001-4, and it must develop a corrective 
action plan to address reactive resource shortfalls, if needed.\51\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ Id. at 20-21.
    \51\ Id. at 21.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    37. NERC concludes that given this ``comprehensive and 
interdependent framework addressing System voltage needs in the 
operations and planning horizons . . . there is no need to have a 
distinct requirement expressly requiring the Transmission Operator to 
`schedule' sufficient resources.'' \52\ NERC also states ``that the 
second sentence of Requirement R2 constitutes guidance or a measure 
which does not warrant a mandatory requirement provision.'' \53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \52\ Id.
    \53\ The second sentence of Requirements R2 states, 
``Transmission Operators can provide sufficient reactive resources 
through various means including, but not limited to, reactive 
generation scheduling, transmission line and reactive resource 
switching, and using controllable load.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Discussion
    38. NERC contends that Reliability Standards TOP-001-4 and TOP-002-
4 require, among other things, transmission operators to perform an 
operational planning analyses and determine System Operating Limits to 
assess whether planned next-day operations will exceed those limits and 
develop a plan to address those potential exceedances. However, the 
proposed retirement of Reliability Standard VAR-001-5, Requirement R2 
assumes that, even in the absence of a specific requirement, if the 
transmission operator identifies potential System Operating Limit 
exceedances based on this analysis, the transmission operator will 
develop and implement an Operating Plan to mitigate the potential 
exceedances. We determine that relying on such an assumption may 
negatively impact reliability given the significant role that 
scheduling adequate reactive resources plays in the overall operation 
of Reliability Standard VAR-001-5. We also determine that retiring 
Requirement R2 is contrary to the stated purpose of Reliability 
Standard VAR-001-5, which is to ``ensure that voltage levels, reactive 
flows and reactive resources are monitored, controlled and maintained 
within limits in Real-time to protect equipment and the reliable 
operation of the Interconnection.'' Accordingly, we propose to remand 
proposed Reliability Standard VAR-001-6 in order to retain Requirement 
R2 because it is the only requirement that explicitly requires 
transmission operators to schedule reactive resources.\54\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ When seeking approval of Reliability Standard VAR-001-4, 
NERC addressed the significance of Requirement R2, stating that 
``the primary factor in maintaining voltage stability is having the 
appropriate amount of Reactive Power on the system. Proposed 
Requirement R2 helps ensure that sufficient reactive resources are 
online and scheduled in Real-time.'' NERC, Petition, Docket No. 
RD14-11-000, at 20 (filed June 9, 2014). When NERC conducted a 
periodic review of Reliability Standard VAR-001-4.1 in 2017, 
periodic review team found that the Reliability Standard met its 
objective and therefore no revisions were necessary. NERC, Periodic 
Review Recommendations: VAR-001-4.1--Voltage and Reactive Control 
(May 19, 2017). Further, the periodic review team determined that no 
requirements satisfied the criteria for retirement. Id. at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    39. While Reliability Standards TOP-001-4 and TOP-002-4 address 
situations involving the possible need to schedule reactive resources, 
they are not adequate substitutes for the explicit obligation in 
Requirement R2 of Reliability Standard VAR-001-5 requiring transmission 
operators to schedule enough reactive resources to regulate voltage 
levels under all system conditions. Reliability Standard TOP-001-4, 
Requirement R10 only requires the transmission operator to monitor 
facilities within its area (Requirement R10.1); to monitor the status 
of Remedial Action Schemes within its area (Requirement R10.2), to 
monitor non-bulk electric system facilities within its area 
(Requirement R10.3); to obtain and use status, voltages, and flow data 
for facilities outside its area (Requirement R10.4); to obtain and use 
the status of Remedial Action Schemes outside its area (Requirement 
R10.5); and to obtain and use status, voltages, and flow data for non-
bulk electric system facilities outside its area (Requirement R10.6). 
Therefore, we determine that a plain reading of the relevant 
requirements cited by NERC in its petition indicates that the action of 
scheduling any type of resources is not required outside of Reliability 
Standard VAR-001-5, Requirement R2.
    40. Additionally, Reliability Standards TOP-001-4 and TOP-002-4 do 
not require the transmission operator to implement mitigation plans: 
Instead, the transmission operator need only analyze and develop a plan 
to address a potential System Operating Limit.
    41. Accordingly, we disagree with NERC's assertion that Reliability 
Standard VAR-001-5, Requirement R2 is duplicative of other existing 
Reliability Standard requirements, and we believe that eliminating 
Requirement R2 will create an unacceptable risk that voltage, reactive 
flows, and reactive resources will not be controlled and maintained 
within System Operating Limits. Therefore, pursuant to section 
215(d)(4) of the FPA, we propose to remand proposed Reliability 
Standard VAR-001-6 in order to retain Requirement R2 of currently-
effective Reliability Standard VAR-001-5.

III. Information Collection Statement

    42. The information collection requirements contained in this 
Proposed Rule are subject to review by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) under section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995.\55\ OMB's regulations require approval of certain information 
collection requirements imposed by agency rules.\56\ Upon approval of a 
collection of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and 
expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of this 
rule will not be penalized for failing to respond to these collections 
of information unless the collections of information display a valid 
OMB control number. The Commission solicits comments on the 
Commission's need for this information, whether the information will 
have practical utility, the accuracy of the burden estimates, ways to 
enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be 
collected or retained, and any suggested methods for minimizing 
respondents' burden, including the use of automated information 
techniques.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ 44 U.S.C. 3507(d).
    \56\ 5 CFR 1320.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    43. The Commission estimates that the proposed rule, which would 
retire 74 requirements of Reliability Standards without adding any new 
obligations on registered entities, would result in a total reduction 
in burden for industry of 151,340.2 hours. The Commission based the 
burden reduction estimates on staff experience, knowledge, and 
expertise.

[[Page 6837]]



                                            Proposed Reductions Due to NOPR in Docket Nos. RM19-16 & RM19-17
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                       Number of                       Average number
                                                                                        annual       Total number of      of burden       Total burden
       Reliability standard & requirement          Type \57\ and number of entity    responses per      responses         hours per          hours
                                                                                        entity                            response
                                                 (1)..............................             (2)    (1) * (2) = (3)             (4)    (3) * (4) = (5)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        FERC-725A
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FAC-013-2......................................  RC (12)..........................            8.33                100           26.67              2,667
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
INT-006-4, R3.1, R4, R5, R5.1, R5.2, R5.3,       BA/TSP (171).....................               1                171            56.3              9,627
 R5.4, R5.5.
INT-004-3.1....................................  BA (99)..........................               1                 99            56.3              5,574
INT-010-2.1....................................  BA (99)..........................               1                 99            56.3              5,574
INT-009-2.1, R2................................  BA (99)..........................               1                 99            56.3              5,574
MOD-001-1a.....................................  TOP/TSP (240)....................               2                480            55.3             26,544
MOD-004-1......................................  TOP (168)........................               1                168            48.9            8,215.2
MOD-008-1......................................  TOP (168)........................               1                168            48.9            8,215.2
MOD-028-2......................................  TOP/TSP (240)....................               1                240            48.9             11,736
MOD-020-0......................................  TP/RP/DP/BA (780)................               1                780            14.4             11,232
MOD-029-2a.....................................  TOP/TSP/TP/BA (533)..............               1                533            49.8             26,543
MOD-030-3......................................  TOP/TSP/TP/BA (533)..............               1                533            49.8             26,543
rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Sub-Total for FERC-725A....................  3,142............................  ..............              3,470  ..............          148,044.4
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                                                                      FERC-725A(1C)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOP-001-4, R19 & R22...........................  BA/TO/GO/DP (1,696)..............             .25                422             0.8              337.6
rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Sub-Total for FERC-725A(1C)................  1,696............................  ..............                422  ..............              337.6
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       FERC-725G1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PRC-004-5(i), R4...............................  TO/GO/DP (1,597).................             .41                659            4.36            2,874.6
rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Sub-Total for FERC-725G1...................  1,597............................  ..............                659  ..............            2,874.6
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        FERC-725Z
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IRO-002-6, R1..................................  RC (12)..........................            1.17                 14            5.97               83.6
rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Sub-Total for FERC-725Z....................  12...............................  ..............                 14  ..............               83.6
rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
        Total Reductions Due to NOPR in RM19-16  .................................  ..............              4,565  ..............          151,340.2
         & RM19-17.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Titles: FERC-725A, Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk 
Power System; FERC-725A(1C), Mandatory Reliability Standards for Bulk-
Power System: Reliability Standard TOP-001-4; FERC-725G1, Mandatory 
Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System: Reliability Standard 
PRC-004-5(i); FERC-725Z, Mandatory Reliability Standards: IRO 
Reliability Standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \57\ RC = Reliability Coordinator; BA = Balancing Authority; TSP 
= Transmission Service Provider; TOP = Transmission Operator; TO = 
Transmission Owner; GO = Generator Owner; DP = Distribution 
Provider; TP = Transmission Provider; and RP = Resource Planner.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Action: Proposed Reductions to Existing Collections of Information 
FERC-725A, FERC-725A(1C), and FERC-725Z; and Proposed Elimination of 
Collections of Information, and FERC-725G1.
    OMB Control Nos: 1902-0244 (FERC-725A); 1902-0298 (FERC-
725A(1C));1902-0284 (FERC-725G1); and 1902-0276 (FERC-725Z).
    Respondents: Business or other for profit, and not for profit 
institutions.
    Frequency of Responses: On occasion (and proposed for deletion).
    44. Necessity of the Information: This proceeding proposes to 
approve the retirement of ten Reliability Standards in their entirety 
and five revised Reliability Standards, reflecting a total of 74 
retired requirements identified by NERC. The proposed retirements 
either: (1) Provide little or no reliability benefit; (2) are 
administrative in nature or relate expressly to commercial or business 
practices; or (3) are redundant with other Reliability Standards.
    45. Internal review: The Commission has reviewed NERC's proposal 
and determined that its action is necessary to implement section 215 of 
the FPA. The Commission has assured itself, by means of its internal 
review, that there is specific, objective support for the burden 
reduction estimates associated with the information requirements 
proposed for retirement.
    46. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting 
requirements by contacting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 
Office of the Executive Director, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 
20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, email: [email protected], phone: 
(202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873].
    47. Comments concerning the information collections and 
requirements proposed for retirement in this NOPR and the associated 
burden estimates, should be sent to the

[[Page 6838]]

Commission in this docket and may also be sent to the Office of 
Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs 
[Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]. 
For security reasons, comments should be sent by email to OMB at the 
following email address: [email protected]. Please refer to 
the appropriate OMB Control Number(s) and Docket Nos. RM19-16-000 and 
RM19-17-000 in your submission.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    48. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) \58\ generally 
requires a description and analysis of rulemakings that will have 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The RFA mandates consideration of regulatory alternatives that 
accomplish the stated objectives of a rule and that minimize any 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The Small Business Administration's Office of Size Standards develops 
the numerical definition of a small business.\59\ The Small Business 
Administration has established size standards, for the types of 
affected entities (noted in the table above), that range from a maximum 
of 250-1,000 employees for an entity and its affiliates to be 
considered small.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \58\ 5 U.S.C. 601-612.
    \59\ 13 CFR 121.101.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    49. The Commission seeks comment on the proposed reduction of 
burden and cost on small business entities. The Commission estimates 
the total industry reduction in burden for all entities (large and 
small) to be 151,340.2 hours (or approximately 33 hours (rounded) per 
response). The Commission believes that this proposal will reduce 
burden and cost for all affected entities.
    50. Based on the information above, the Commission certifies that 
the proposed reductions will not have a significant impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, no initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

V. Environmental Analysis

    51. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental 
Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may 
have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.\60\ The 
Commission has categorically excluded certain actions from this 
requirement as not having a significant effect on the human 
environment. Included in the exclusion are rules that are clarifying, 
corrective, or procedural or that do not substantially change the 
effect of the regulations being amended.\61\ The actions proposed here 
fall within this categorical exclusion in the Commission's regulations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \60\ Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969, Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897 (Dec. 17, 1987), FERC Stats. 
& Regs., Regulations Preambles 1986-1990 ] 30,783 (1987).
    \61\ 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

VI. Comment Procedures

    52. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on 
the matters and issues proposed in this document to be adopted, 
including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters 
may wish to discuss. Comments are due April 6, 2020. Comments must 
refer to Docket Nos. RM19-16-000 and RM19-17-000, and must include the 
commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and 
their address in their comments.
    53. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically 
via the eFiling link on the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing 
formats. Documents created electronically using word processing 
software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format 
and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not 
need to make a paper filing.
    54. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically 
must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE, 
Washington, DC 20426.
    55. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files 
and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the 
Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are 
not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

VII. Document Availability

    56. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the 
Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an 
opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the 
internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and 
in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours 
(8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE, Room 2A, 
Washington, DC 20426.
    57. From the Commission's Home Page on the internet, this 
information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is 
available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, 
printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type 
the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in 
the docket number field.
    58. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's 
website during normal business hours from the Commission's Online 
Support at (202) 502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at 
[email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-
8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at 
[email protected].

    By direction of the Commission.
    Issued: January 23, 2020.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2020-02171 Filed 2-5-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6717-01-P