The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will hold a Commissioner-lead technical conference on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to discuss policy issues related to the reliability of the Bulk-Power System. According to the agenda released on June 19, the conference will be comprised of four panels:

  1. State of Reliability and Emerging Issues;
  2. Continuing Evolution of NERC Enforcement and Compliance Activities;
  3. NERC Standards Development Process and Priorities; and
  4. Other Issues.

The panels will include a variety of speakers from NERC staff and the industry. NERC President and CEO Gerry Cauley is scheduled to offer prepared remarks for the first panel, and he may participate in all other panels as well.

During the first panel, the panelists will address the current state of reliability, including NERC’s May 2013 State of Reliability Report. The panel will also address related issues that have affected or are expected to affect the state of reliability going forward and what industry and FERC can do to address those issues.

During the second panel, NERC will provide an update on trends in compliance and enforcement of Reliability Standards, the NERC Reliability Assurance Initiative program, and its efforts to streamline its compliance and enforcement processes. The other panelists will express their views on NERC’s progress in streamlining its processes as well as recommendations moving forward.

During the third panel, the panelists will discuss NERC’s standards development process, the status of that process, and various initiatives to improve the timeliness, substance, and prioritization of issues.

During the fourth and final panel, the panelists will address two topics:

  1. The ramifications of changes to the projected resource mix and capacity reserves as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency rules and other things, such as recent trends in natural gas prices; and
  2. The status of implementation (in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council Region and in the other regions) of the recommendations made or lessons learned in the September 8, 2011 Southwest blackout and from the February 2011 cold weather outages.