[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 247 (Wednesday, December 26, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 75838-75844]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-31034]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

18 CFR Part 40

[Docket No. RM12-9-000; Order No. 772]


Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01; Automatic 
Underfrequency Load Shedding Requirements

AGENCY: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: Under section 215 of the Federal Power Act, the Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission (Commission) approves regional Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 (Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding 
Requirements), submitted to the Commission for approval by the North 
American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). Regional Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 is designed to ensure that automatic 
underfrequency load shedding protection schemes, designed by planning 
coordinators and implemented by applicable distribution providers and 
transmission owners in the SERC Reliability Corporation Region, are 
coordinated to mitigate the consequences of an underfrequency event 
effectively. The Commission approves the related violation risk 
factors, with one modification, violation severity levels, 
implementation plan, and effective date proposed by NERC.

DATES: This rule will become effective February 25, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Susan Morris (Technical Information), Office of Electric Reliability, 
Division of Reliability Standards, Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: 
(202) 502-6803, Susan.Morris@ferc.gov.
Matthew Vlissides (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., 
Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-8408, 
Matthew.Vlissides@ferc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Final Rule

Order No. 772

(Issued December 20, 2012)
    1. Under section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), the Commission 
approves regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 (Automatic 
Underfrequency Load Shedding Requirements) in the SERC Reliability 
Corporation (SERC) Region. The Commission also approves the related 
violation risk factors (VRF), with one modification, violation severity 
levels (VSL), implementation plan, and effective date proposed by the 
North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). NERC submitted 
regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 to the Commission for 
approval and the new standard is designed to ensure that automatic 
underfrequency load shedding (UFLS) protection schemes, designed by 
planning coordinators and implemented by applicable distribution 
providers and transmission owners in the SERC Region, are coordinated 
to mitigate the consequences of an underfrequency event effectively.

[[Page 75839]]

I. Background

A. Mandatory Reliability Standards

    2. Section 215 of the FPA requires a Commission-certified Electric 
Reliability Organization (ERO) to develop mandatory and enforceable 
Reliability Standards, which are subject to Commission review and 
approval. Once approved, the Reliability Standards may be enforced by 
NERC, subject to Commission oversight, or by the Commission 
independently.\1\
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    \1\ See 16 U.S.C. 824o(e) (2006).
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    3. Reliability Standards that NERC proposes to the Commission may 
include Reliability Standards that are proposed by a Regional Entity to 
be effective in that region.\2\ In Order No. 672, the Commission noted 
that:
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    \2\ 16 U.S.C. 824o(e)(4). A Regional Entity is an entity that 
has been approved by the Commission to enforce Reliability Standards 
under delegated authority from the ERO. See 16 U.S.C. 824o(a)(7) and 
(e)(4).

    As a general matter, we will accept the following two types of 
regional differences, provided they are otherwise just, reasonable, 
not unduly discriminatory or preferential and in the public 
interest, as required under the statute: (1) a regional difference 
that is more stringent than the continent-wide Reliability Standard, 
including a regional difference that addresses matters that the 
continent-wide Reliability Standard does not; and (2) a regional 
Reliability Standard that is necessitated by a physical difference 
in the Bulk-Power System.\3\
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    \3\ Rules Concerning Certification of the Electric Reliability 
Organization; and Procedures for the Establishment, Approval and 
Enforcement of Electric Reliability Standards, Order No. 672, FERC 
Stats. & Regs. ] 31,204, at P 291, order on reh'g, Order No. 672-A, 
FERC Stats. & Regs. ] 31,212 (2006).

    When NERC reviews a regional Reliability Standard that would be 
applicable on an interconnection-wide basis and that has been proposed 
by a Regional Entity organized on an interconnection-wide basis, NERC 
must rebuttably presume that the regional Reliability Standard is just, 
reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the 
public interest.\4\ In turn, the Commission must give ``due weight'' to 
the technical expertise of NERC and of a Regional Entity organized on 
an interconnection-wide basis.\5\
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    \4\ 16 U.S.C. 824o(d)(3).
    \5\ Id. Sec.  824o(d)(2).
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    4. On April 19, 2007, the Commission accepted delegation agreements 
between NERC and each of the eight Regional Entities.\6\ In the order, 
the Commission accepted SERC as a Regional Entity organized on less 
than an interconnection-wide basis. As a Regional Entity, SERC oversees 
Bulk-Power System reliability within the SERC Region, which covers a 
geographic area of approximately 560,000 square miles in a sixteen-
state area in the southeastern and central United States (all of 
Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 
Mississippi, and portions of Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia, 
Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Florida).
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    \6\ North American Electric Reliability Corp., 119 FERC ] 
61,060, order on reh'g, 120 FERC ] 61,260 (2007).
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B. NERC Petition

    5. On February 1, 2012, NERC submitted a petition to the Commission 
seeking approval of regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01.\7\ 
NERC stated that regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 is 
designed to ensure that automatic UFLS protection schemes, designed by 
planning coordinators and implemented by applicable distribution 
providers and transmission owners in the SERC Region, are coordinated 
to mitigate the consequences of an underfrequency event effectively.\8\ 
According to NERC, regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 adds 
specificity for UFLS schemes in the SERC Region that are not present in 
the NERC UFLS Reliability Standard PRC-006-1.\9\ NERC explained that 
regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 effectively mitigates, in 
conjunction with Reliability Standard PRC-006-1, the consequences of an 
underfrequency event while accommodating differences in system 
transmission and distribution topology among SERC planning coordinators 
resulting from historical design criteria, makeup of load demands, and 
generation resources.\10\
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    \7\ North American Electric Reliability Corp., February 1, 2012 
Petition for Approval of Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-
01 (NERC Petition). Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 is 
not codified in the CFR. However, it is available on the 
Commission's eLibrary document retrieval system in Docket No. RM12-
9-000 and is available on the NERC's Web site, www.nerc.com.
    \8\ NERC Petition at 7.
    \9\ Id. at 18.
    \10\ Id. at 18-19.
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    6. In the petition, NERC also proposed violation risk factors and 
violation severity levels for each Requirement of the regional 
Reliability Standard, an implementation plan, and an effective date. 
NERC stated that these proposals were developed and reviewed for 
consistency with NERC and Commission guidelines. NERC proposed specific 
implementation plans for each Requirement in the regional Reliability 
Standard, with the regional Reliability Standard becoming fully 
effective thirty months after the first day of the first quarter 
following regulatory approval. NERC stated that the implementation plan 
is reasonable, as it balances the need for reliability with the 
practicability of implementation.

C. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    7. On July 19, 2012, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NOPR) proposing to approve regional Reliability Standard 
PRC-006-SERC-01 as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or 
preferential, and in the public interest.\11\ The Commission proposed 
to approve regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 because it is 
designed to work in conjunction with NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-
1 to mitigate the consequences of an underfrequency event effectively, 
while accommodating differences in system transmission and distribution 
topology among SERC planning coordinators due to historical design 
criteria, makeup of load demands, and generation resources. The NOPR 
determined that PRC-006-SERC-01 covers topics not covered by the 
corresponding NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 because it adds 
specificity for UFLS schemes in the SERC Region.
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    \11\ Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 --Automatic 
Underfrequency Load Shedding Requirements, Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking, 77 Fed. Reg. 43,190 (July 24, 2012), 140 FERC ] 61,056 
(2012) (NOPR).
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    8. While proposing to approve regional Reliability Standard PRC-
006-SERC-01, the NOPR identified a possible inconsistency between, on 
the one hand, the separate rationale for Requirement R6 of the regional 
Reliability Standard and, on the other, Order No. 763, which approved 
NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1.\12\
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    \12\ Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding and Load Shedding 
Plans Reliability Standards, Order No. 763, 139 FERC ] 61,098 
(2012).
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    9. Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01, Requirement R6 
states:

    R6. Each UFLS entity shall implement changes to the UFLS scheme 
which involve frequency settings, relay time delays, or changes to 
the percentage of load in the scheme within 18 months of 
notification by the Planning Coordinator. [Violation Risk Factor: 
Medium] [Time Horizon: Long-term Planning]

    10. The rationale for Requirement R6 included in the NERC petition 
states:

    Rationale for R6:
    The SDT believes it is necessary to put a requirement on how 
quickly changes to the scheme should be made. This requirement 
specifies that changes must be made within 18 months of notification 
by the PC [planning coordinator]. The 18-month interval was chosen 
to give a reasonable amount of time for making changes in the field. 
All of the SERC region has existing UFLS schemes

[[Page 75840]]

which, based on periodic simulations, have provided reliable 
protection for years. Events which result in islanding and an 
activation of the UFLS schemes are extremely rare. Therefore, the 
SDT does not believe that changes to an existing UFLS scheme will be 
needed in less than 18 months. However, if a PC desires that changes 
to the UFLS scheme be made faster than that, then the PC may request 
the implementation to be done sooner than 18 months. The UFLS entity 
may oblige but will not be required to do so.\13\
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    \13\ NERC Petition, Exhibit A at 14 (emphasis added).
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    11. The NOPR stated that the rationale for Requirement R6 could 
result in Requirement R6 being read to allow applicable entities not to 
adopt a planning coordinator's schedule for implementing corrective 
actions to UFLS schemes if the schedule is less than 18 months. The 
NOPR stated that such an interpretation would be inconsistent with 
Order No. 763, which, in approving PRC-006-1, held that planning 
coordinators should be responsible for establishing schedules for the 
completion of corrective actions in response to UFLS events.\14\ The 
NOPR stated that the Commission interprets the language in Requirement 
R6, that UFLS entities must implement changes ``within 18-months,'' as 
a ``maximum'' timeframe to comply with a planning coordinator's 
schedule to implement changes to UFLS schemes, but the interpretation 
further recognized that the planning coordinator could establish a 
schedule requiring the changes to be implemented in less time. The NOPR 
stated that the inclusion of a maximum timeframe is more stringent than 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-1, which does not contain a maximum 
timeframe to implement changes to a UFLS scheme.
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    \14\ Order No. 763, 139 FERC ] 61,098 at P 48 (citing 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-1, Requirement R9, ``Each UFLS entity 
shall provide automatic tripping of Load in accordance with the UFLS 
program design and schedule for application determined by its 
Planning Coordinator(s) in each Planning Coordinator area in which 
it owns assets.'').
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    12. The NOPR proposed to approve the related violation risk 
factors, with one modification, violation severity levels, 
implementation plan, and effective date proposed by NERC. The NOPR 
proposed to direct NERC to modify the violation risk factor assigned to 
Requirement R6 from ``medium'' to ``high'' to make it consistent with 
the Commission's VRF guidelines and the violation risk factor for 
Requirement R9 of NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1, since both 
Requirements address a similar reliability goal.\15\
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    \15\ North American Electric Reliability Corp., 119 FERC ] 
61,145, order on reh'g, 120 FERC ] 61,145 (2007).
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    13. In response to the NOPR, comments were filed by NERC and three 
interested entities regarding the Commission's interpretation of 
Requirement R6, aspects of Requirement R2 that were not addressed in 
the NOPR, and the proposed modification to the violation risk factor 
associated with Requirement R6.\16\
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    \16\ Comments were received from Dominion Resources Services, 
Inc. (Dominion), on behalf of Virginia Electric and Power Company d/
b/a Dominion Virginia Power, Dominion Energy Kewaunee, Inc., 
Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. Dominion Energy Brayton Point, 
LLC, Dominion Energy Manchester Street, Inc., Elwood Energy, LLC, 
Kincaid Generation, LLC and Fairless Energy, LLC; Midwest 
Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (MISO); and SERC. 
Dominion and SERC also filed reply comments.
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II. Discussion

    14. Pursuant to FPA section 215(d)(2), we approve regional 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 as just, reasonable, not unduly 
discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. PRC-006-
SERC-01 is designed to work in conjunction with NERC Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-1 to mitigate the consequences of an underfrequency 
event effectively while accommodating differences in system 
transmission and distribution topology among SERC planning coordinators 
due to historical design criteria, makeup of load demands, and 
generation resources.\17\ As indicated above, PRC-006-SERC-01 addresses 
topics not covered by the corresponding NERC Reliability Standard PRC-
006-1 because it adds specificity for UFLS schemes in the SERC Region. 
The Commission also approves the related violation risk factors, with 
one modification, violation severity levels, implementation plan, and 
effective date proposed by NERC.
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    \17\ NERC Petition at 18.
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    15. We address below the three issues raised in the comments to the 
NOPR.

A. PRC-006-SERC-01, Requirement R6

    16. In the NOPR, the Commission interpreted Requirement R6 as 
imposing an 18-month maximum schedule for implementing changes to UFLS 
schemes in the SERC Region but, consistent with NERC Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-1 and Order No. 763, as allowing planning coordinators 
to require applicable entities to implement changes in less time.\18\ 
The NOPR stated that the proposed rationale for Requirement R6 was 
potentially inconsistent with this interpretation and the treatment of 
NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 in Order No. 763.
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    \18\ NOPR, 140 FERC ] 61,056 at P 16.
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Comments
    17. In its initial comments, SERC points to NERC's compliance 
filing to Order No. 763, in which NERC states that PRC-006-SERC-01 does 
not replace PRC-006-1 for UFLS entities in the SERC Region and that 
such entities must comply with both standards. To explain the basis for 
the 18-month schedule in PRC-006-SERC-01, Requirement R6, SERC states 
that the drafting team was concerned that, in situations where a UFLS 
entity is not a planning coordinator, planning coordinators might 
impose unreasonable schedules on UFLS entities when major UFLS scheme 
changes are made, not as part of a corrective action plan (i.e., 
actions taken in response to event assessments made pursuant to PRC-
006-1, Requirement R11), but for other reasons (e.g., ``for consistency 
purposes, a change in UFLS scheme philosophy, or for other 
reasons'').\19\ SERC states that planning coordinators are allowed to 
make such changes under PRC-006-1, but Requirement R3 of PRC-006-1 does 
not require planning coordinators to consider UFLS entity budgeting and 
procurement limitations when establishing implementation schedules.
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    \19\ SERC Initial Comments at 4.
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    18. SERC states that the drafting team felt it was important to 
provide a practical timeframe for UFLS entities that are not planning 
coordinators by establishing an upper bound on the timeframe for 
implementing major changes to an entity's UFLS scheme and to ensure 
that the UFLS entities that are not planning coordinators have adequate 
time to budget, procure, and install the necessary equipment.\20\
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    \20\ SERC states that 26 of the 43 UFLS entities in the SERC 
Region do not serve as their own planning coordinators. SERC Initial 
Comments at 4.
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    19. SERC states that it does not oppose the Commission's 
interpretation of Requirement R6 (i.e., that Requirement R6 does not 
provide a UFLS entity with the discretion not to follow the schedule 
set by the planning coordinator when the schedule is less than 18 
months). SERC proposes to revise the rationale statement for 
Requirement R6 to make it consistent with the Commission's 
interpretation.\21\
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    \21\ SERC proposes to revise the rationale to include a 
statement that ``[i]f a PC [planning coordinator] determines there 
is a need for changing the UFLS scheme faster than 18 months, then 
the PC may require the implementation to be done sooner as allowed 
by NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1.'' Id. at 6.
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    20. NERC states that, in its compliance filing to Order No. 763, it 
explained that UFLS entities in the SERC Region must comply with PRC-

[[Page 75841]]

006-1 and PRC-006-SERC-01 and that the latter does not replace the 
former. NERC stated in the compliance filing that ``UFLS entities must 
meet the schedule set by the Planning Coordinator to comply with PRC-
006-1, Requirement R9, but the timeframe must not exceed 18 months in 
the SERC Reliability Corporation Region to comply with PRC-SERC-006-1, 
Requirement R6.'' \22\ NERC states that SERC does not oppose NERC's 
clarification, above, and further states that it supports SERC's 
proposed revision to the rationale statement for Requirement R6.
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    \22\ NERC, Compliance Filing, Docket No. RM11-20-002, at 6-7 
(filed Aug. 9, 2012).
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    21. Dominion states in its initial comments that it supports PRC-
006-SERC-01 as proposed but is concerned that it may conflict with 
Order No. 763. Dominion states that NERC's compliance filing to Order 
No. 763 adds ``an unreasonable burden and complexity in the compliance 
efforts of affected registered entities.''\23\ Specifically, Dominion 
is concerned that compliance with PRC-006-1 and PRC-006-SERC-01 will 
create a ``new, or at least unrealized, level of complexity imposed 
upon registered entities.'' \24\ Dominion states that it ``recommends 
that the Commission approve the SERC regional standard but remand 
Requirement R6 and direct it be modified to be consistent with the 
scheduling requirements of Order No. 763 * * * to require each UFLS 
entity in the SERC region to implement changes to the UFLS scheme 
within the lesser of 18 months of notification by the planning 
coordinator, or the schedule established by the planning coordinator.'' 
\25\
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    \23\ Dominion Initial Comments at 3.
    \24\ Id. at 4.
    \25\ Id. at 4-5 (emphasis in original).
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    22. In responsive comments, SERC states that Dominion's concerns 
have been adequately addressed. SERC states that the Commission 
indicated in the NOPR that it will not read Requirement R6 as providing 
UFLS entities with the discretion not to follow the schedule set by 
planning coordinators when the schedule is less than 18 months. SERC 
also states that it proposed, in its initial comments, to revise the 
rationale for Requirement R6 to make the rationale consistent with this 
interpretation.
    23. In reply to SERC's responsive comments, Dominion disagrees that 
its concerns have been adequately addressed. Dominion states that ``it 
is unjust to hold a registered entity responsible for compliance to any 
requirement within a reliability standard where such compliance is 
dependent upon that registered entity having also read, and taken into 
consideration, all statements issued by FERC, NERC and the Regional 
Entity in this docket.'' \26\
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    \26\ Dominion Reply Comments at 2-3.
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Commission Determination
    24. The Commission affirms the interpretation of Requirement R6 set 
forth in the NOPR and accepts NERC and SERC's proposal to revise the 
rationale statement for Requirement R6, as set forth in NERC and SERC's 
comments. NERC, SERC, and Dominion do not oppose the Commission's 
interpretation of Requirement R6.
    25. The remaining dispute, therefore, centers on Dominion's request 
that Requirement R6 should be revised to eliminate any ambiguity, as 
opposed to relying on the Commission's interpretation of Requirement R6 
and the proposed revision to the separate rationale for Requirement R6. 
We reject this request because, as we stated in the NOPR, the ambiguity 
regarding Requirement R6 was a result of the separate rationale 
statement for Requirement R6.\27\ Absent the problematic language in 
the rationale, there is no inconsistency created by the text of 
Requirement R6 itself. As NERC notes, UFLS entities must comply with 
both PRC-006-1 and PRC-006-SERC-01.\28\ A plain reading of Requirement 
R6 (i.e., that UFLS entities shall implement changes within 18 months 
of notification by planning coordinators) in conjunction with a reading 
of PRC-006-1 (i.e., requiring UFLS entities to follow the schedules set 
by planning coordinators) indicates that, in the SERC Region, there 
will be an 18-month maximum period for implementing changes to UFLS 
schemes but planning coordinators may require UFLS entities to complete 
changes in less time consistent with PRC-006-1. Accordingly, we accept 
NERC and SERC's proposal to revise the rationale statement for 
Requirement R6, consistent with SERC's proposal, but we will not 
require the revision to Requirement R6 proposed by Dominion. We direct 
NERC and SERC to make an informational filing within 30 days of the 
effective date of this final rule that provides a schedule for 
implementing the revision.
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    \27\ NOPR, 140 FERC ] 61,056 at P 16 (``[w]e are concerned, 
however, that the italicized language in the rationale NERC provides 
for Requirement R6 may be incompatible with Order No. 763'').
    \28\ See Order No. 672 at P 294 (``A user, owner or operator 
must follow the Reliability Standards of the ERO and the Regional 
Entity within which it is located.'')
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B. PRC-006-SERC-01, Requirements R2.3, R2.4, R2.5, and R2.6

    26. In the NOPR, the Commission noted that Requirement R2 requires 
each planning coordinator to select or develop an automatic UFLS scheme 
(percent of load to be shed, frequency set points, and time delays) for 
implementation by UFLS entities within its area that meets the 
specified minimum requirements. Without addressing Requirement R2 
specifically, the Commission proposed to approve regional Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory 
or preferential, and in the public interest.
Comments
    27. MISO states that PRC-006-SERC-01 is overly prescriptive and may 
not allow planning coordinators the flexibility needed to ensure 
reliability. MISO states that Requirements R2.3, R2.4, R2.5, and R2.6 
specify acceptable ranges and limits for the UFLS design. MISO states 
that PRC-006-SERC-01 makes no provision to accommodate a planning 
coordinator's determination that the best performing design does not 
fall within the specified set points and ranges in the regional 
Reliability Standard, which MISO acknowledges reflect historical 
practice. MISO states that there may be sound technical reasons to 
deviate from the prescribed set points. MISO also states that these set 
points could frustrate coordination with systems that deviate from the 
PRC-006-SERC-01 without regard to the reliability benefits of deviating 
from historical practice.
    28. In responsive comments, SERC states that MISO's comments are 
outside the scope of the comments sought in the NOPR. SERC also states 
that MISO participated in the standard development process for PRC-006-
SERC-01 and provided comments similar to those offered here (i.e., that 
Requirement R2 is too prescriptive and planning coordinators should not 
be restricted to the acceptable ranges and limits specified in 
Requirement R2). SERC notes that MISO acknowledged that the set points 
specified in Requirement R2 reflect historical practice. SERC states 
that the standard drafting team responded to MISO's comments by 
pointing to the 18 different UFLS schemes in the SERC Region and by 
noting that Requirement R2 was ``needed to ensure coordination and 
consistency among the UFLS

[[Page 75842]]

schemes in SERC.'' \29\ SERC states that MISO's comments were 
considered and rejected by the standard drafting team and that the 
Commission should likewise reject them.
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    \29\ SERC Reply Comments at 3-4 (citing standard drafting team 
response).
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Commission Determination
    29. We reject MISO's protest that the acceptable ranges and limits 
for the UFLS design in Requirement R2 are overly prescriptive or do not 
afford planning coordinators sufficient flexibility. As noted in NERC's 
petition and the NOPR, regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 
sets minimum automatic UFLS design requirements, which are equivalent 
to the design requirements in the SERC UFLS program that have been in 
effect since September 3, 1999.\30\ Imposing uniform, minimum 
requirements on UFLS programs in the SERC Region necessarily limits the 
flexibility of planning coordinators and UFLS entities. However, based 
on the record before us, we find that the benefits of requiring minimum 
standards outweighs any loss in flexibility, particularly when those 
minimum standards are based on historical practices in SERC. Other than 
asserting the loss of flexibility, MISO does not question the ranges 
and limits in Requirement R2, or explain how they are not technically 
justified. In addition, MISO does not suggest alternate ranges and 
limits, other than to note that the Midwest Reliability Organization is 
``investigating the reliability benefits of setting the frequency set 
point blocks at less than 0.2 Hz apart to create finer system 
control.'' \31\ While we reject MISO's protest, we do not foreclose the 
possibility that NERC and SERC may wish to revise the ranges and limits 
in Requirement R2 at some future time based on changed circumstances or 
with added experience.
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    \30\ NOPR, 140 FERC ] 61,056 at P7 (citing NERC Petition at 12).
    \31\ MISO Comments at 2.
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C. Violation Risk Factors, Violation Severity Levels, Implementation 
Plan, and Effective Date

    30. In the NOPR, the Commission proposed to approve the violation 
risk factors, with one modification, violation severity levels, 
implementation plan, and effective date proposed by NERC. The NOPR 
proposed to direct NERC to modify the violation risk factor assigned to 
Requirement R6 from ``medium'' to ``high'' to make it consistent with 
the Commission's VRF guidelines and the violation risk factor for 
Requirement R9 of NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1, since both 
Requirements address a similar reliability goal.
Comments
    31. NERC and SERC state that they do not oppose the Commission's 
proposal to direct modification of the violation risk factor for 
Requirement R6 from ``medium'' to ``high.''
Commission Determination
    32. The Commission directs NERC and SERC to modify the violation 
risk factor for regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01, 
Requirement R6, from ``medium'' to ``high.'' NERC and SERC are directed 
to submit the revised violation risk factor within 30 days of the 
effective date of this final rule. The Commission approves the 
remaining violation risk factors, violation severity levels, 
implementation plan, and effective date proposed by NERC.

III. Information Collection Statement

    33. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations require 
that OMB approve certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements 
(collections of information) imposed by an agency.\32\ Upon approval of 
a collection(s) 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.
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    \32\ 5 CFR 1320.11.
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    34. The Commission is submitting these reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements to OMB for its review and approval under section 3507(d) 
of Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.\33\ The Commission solicited 
comments on the need for and the purpose of the information contained 
in regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 and the corresponding 
burden to implement the regional Reliability Standard. The Commission 
received comments on specific requirements in the regional Reliability 
Standard, which we address in this final rule. However, the Commission 
did not receive any comments on our reporting burden estimates.
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    \33\ 44 U.S.C. 3507(d)
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    35. This final rule approves regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-
SERC-01. This is the first time NERC has requested Commission approval 
of this regional Reliability Standard. NERC states in its petition that 
UFLS requirements have been in place at a continent-wide level and 
within SERC for many years prior to implementation of the Commission-
approved Reliability Standards in 2007. Because the UFLS requirements 
have been in place prior to the development of PRC-006-SERC-01, the 
regional Reliability Standard is largely associated with requirements 
that applicable entities are already following.\34\ Regional 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 is designed to ensure that 
automatic UFLS protection schemes, designed by planning coordinators 
and implemented by applicable distribution providers and transmission 
owners in the SERC Region, are coordinated so they may effectively 
mitigate the consequences of an underfrequency event. The regional 
Reliability Standard is only applicable to generator owners, planning 
coordinators, and UFLS entities in the SERC Region. The term ``UFLS 
entities'' means all entities that are responsible for the ownership, 
operation, or control of automatic UFLS equipment as required by the 
UFLS program established by the planning coordinators. Such entities 
may include distribution providers and transmission owners. The 
reporting requirements in regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 
only pertain to entities within the SERC Region.
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    \34\ See 5 CFR 1320.3(b)(2) (``The time, effort, and financial 
resources necessary to comply with a collection of information that 
would be incurred by persons in the normal course of their 
activities (e.g., in compiling and maintaining business records) 
will be excluded from the `burden' if the agency demonstrates that 
the reporting, recordkeeping, or disclosure activities needed to 
comply are usual and customary.'').
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    36. Public Reporting Burden: Our estimate below regarding the 
number of respondents is based on the NERC compliance registry as of 
May 29, 2012. According to the NERC compliance registry, there are 21 
planning coordinators and 104 generator owners within the SERC Region. 
The individual burden estimates are based on the time needed for 
planning coordinators to incrementally gather data, run studies, and 
analyze study results to design or update the UFLS programs that are 
required in the regional Reliability Standard in addition to the 
requirements of the NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1.\35\ 
Additionally, generator owners must provide a detailed set of data and 
documentation to SERC within 30 days of a request to facilitate post 
event analysis of frequency disturbances. These burden estimates are 
consistent with estimates for similar tasks in other Commission-
approved Reliability Standards.
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    \35\ The burden estimates for Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 are 
included in Order No. 763 and are not repeated here.

[[Page 75843]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Number of       Number of    Average burden
 PRC-006-SERC-01  (Automatic underfrequency load    respondents    responses per     hours per     Total annual
            shedding requirements) 36                annually       respondent       response      burden hours
                                                             (1)             (2)             (3)     (1)x(2)x(3)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PCs\*\: Design and document Automatic UFLS                    21               1               8             168
 Program........................................
PCs: Provide Documentation and Data to SERC.....  ..............  ..............              16             336
GOs\*\: Provide Documentation and Data to SERC..             104               1              16           1,664
GOs: Record Retention...........................  ..............  ..............               4             416
    Total.......................................  ..............  ..............  ..............           2,584
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\*\ PC=planning coordinator; GO=generator owner.

     
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    \36\ Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 applies to 
planning coordinators, UFLS entities and generator owners. However, 
the burden associated with the UFLS entities is not new because it 
was accounted for under Commission-approved Reliability Standards 
PRC-006-1.
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    Total Annual Hours for Collection: (Compliance/Documentation) = 
2,584 hours.
    Total Reporting Cost for planning coordinators: = 504 hours @$120/
hour = $60,480.
    Total Reporting Cost for generator owners: = 1,664 hours @$120/hour 
= $199,680.
    Total Record Retention Cost for generator owners: 416 hours @$28/
hour = $11,648.
    Total Annual Cost (Reporting + Record Retention):\37\ = $60,480 + 
$199,680 +$11,648 = $271,808.
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    \37\ The hourly reporting cost is based on the cost of an 
engineer to implement the requirements of the rule. The record 
retention cost comes from Commission staff research on record 
retention requirements.
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    Title: Mandatory Reliability Standards for the SERC Region
    Action: Proposed Collection FERC-725K.
    OMB Control No.: 1902-0260.
    Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit institutions; not-for-
profit institutions.
    Frequency of Responses: On Occasion.
    Necessity of the Information: This final rule approves the regional 
Reliability Standard pertaining to automatic underfrequency load 
shedding. The regional Reliability Standard helps ensure the reliable 
operation of the Bulk-Power System by arresting declining frequency and 
assisting recovery of frequency following system events leading to 
frequency degradation.
    Internal Review: The Commission has reviewed the regional 
Reliability Standard and made a determination that its action is 
necessary to implement section 215 of the FPA. These requirements, if 
accepted, should conform to the Commission's expectation for UFLS 
programs as well as procedures within the SERC Region.
    37. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting 
requirements by contacting the following: Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: 
Ellen Brown, Office of the Executive Director, email: 
DataClearance@ferc.gov, phone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873].
    38. For submitting comments concerning the collection(s) of 
information and the associated burden estimate(s), please send your 
comments to the Commission and to the Office of Management and Budget, 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20503 
[Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 
phone: (202) 395-4638, fax: (202) 395-7285]. For security reasons, 
comments to OMB should be submitted by email to: oira_submission@omb.eop.gov. Comments submitted to OMB should include Docket 
Number RM12-09 and an OMB Control Number 1902-0260.

IV. Environmental Analysis

    39. 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.\38\ 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.\39\ The actions proposed here 
fall within this categorical exclusion in the Commission's regulations.
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    \38\ Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy 
Act, Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897 (Dec. 17, 1987), FERC Stats. & Regs. 
Regulations Preambles 1986-1990 ] 30,783 (1987).
    \39\ 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii).
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V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    40. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) \40\ generally 
requires a description and analysis of final rules 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 proposed rule and that minimize 
any significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Size 
Standards develops the numerical definition of a small business.\41\ 
The SBA has established a size standard for electric utilities, stating 
that a firm is small if, including its affiliates, it is primarily 
engaged in the transmission, generation and/or distribution of electric 
energy for sale and its total electric output for the preceding twelve 
months did not exceed four million megawatt hours.\42\
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    \40\ 5 U.S.C. 601-612.
    \41\ 13 CFR 121.101.
    \42\ 13 CFR 121.201, Sector 22, Utilities & n.1.
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    41. Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 establishes 
consistent and coordinated requirements for the design, implementation, 
and analysis of automatic UFLS schemes among all applicable entities 
within the SERC Region. It is applicable to planning coordinators, 
generator owners and entities that are responsible for the ownership, 
operation, or control of UFLS equipment. Comparison of the NERC 
Compliance Registry with data submitted to the Energy Information 
Administration on Form EIA-861 indicates that perhaps as many as 1 
small entity is registered as a planning coordinator and 5 small 
entities are registered as generator owners in the SERC Region. The 
Commission estimates that the small planning coordinator to whom the 
proposed regional Reliability Standard will apply will incur compliance 
costs of $2,880 ($2,880 per planning coordinator) associated with the 
regional Reliability Standard's requirements. The small generator 
owners will incur compliance and record keeping costs of $10,160 
($2,032 per generator owner). Accordingly, regional Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 should not impose a significant operating cost

[[Page 75844]]

increase or decrease on the affected small entities.
    42. Further, NERC explains that the cost for smaller entities to 
implement regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 was considered 
during the development process. The continent-wide NERC UFLS 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 requires a planning coordinator to 
identify which entities will participate in its UFLS scheme, including 
the number of steps and percent load that UFLS entities will shed. The 
standard drafting team recognized that UFLS entities with a load of 
less than 100 MW may have difficulty in implementing more than one UFLS 
step and in meeting a tight tolerance. Therefore, the standard drafting 
team included Requirement R5, which states that such small entities 
shall not be required to have more than one UFLS step, and sets their 
implementation tolerance to a wider level. Requirement R5 limits 
additional compliance costs for smaller entities to comply with the 
regional Reliability Standard.
    43. Based on this understanding, the Commission certifies that 
regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-SERC-01 will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

VI. Document Availability

    44. 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 FERC's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in FERC'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.
    45. From FERC'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.
    46. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the FERC's Web 
site during normal business hours from FERC 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.

VII. Effective Date and Congressional Notification

    47. These regulations are effective February 25, 2013. The 
Commission has determined, with the concurrence of the Administrator of 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, that this rule 
is not a ``major rule'' as defined in section 351 of the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

    By the Commission.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2012-31034 Filed 12-24-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P