The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a proposal that would approve the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) revisions to the definition of the bulk electric system to provide greater clarity and ensure consistency in identifying system elements across the nation’s reliability regions.

In response to a Commission directive, NERC in January 2012 filed revisions that:

  • Establish a “core” definition that includes all transmission, real power and reactive power facilities operated or connected at 100 kilovolts or higher.
  • Eliminate the discretion that Regional Entities now have to define the system in their region without any oversight from the Commission or NERC.
  • Identify specific facility configurations that are included in or excluded from the definition.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) also proposes to approve NERC’s new rules of procedure for adding elements to and removing them from the definition on a case-by-case basis. While proposing to approve the revisions to the definition of bulk electric system, the NOPR also seeks comment on certain issues, including the exclusion of certain facility configurations from the definition. Comments on the NOPR are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.