[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 39 (Wednesday, February 27, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13213-13221]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04430]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

18 CFR Part 40

[Docket No. RM12-12-000; Order No. 775]


Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1--Automatic 
Underfrequency Load Shedding

AGENCY: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Under section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), the Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) approves regional Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 (Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding), 
submitted to the Commission for approval by the North American Electric 
Reliability Corporation (NERC). Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-
NPCC-1 applies to generator owners, planning coordinators, distribution 
providers, and transmission owners in the Northeast Power Coordinating 
Council

[[Page 13214]]

Region. Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 is designed to 
ensure the development of an effective automatic underfrequency load 
shedding (UFLS) program to preserve the security and integrity of the 
Bulk-Power System during declining system frequency events, in 
coordination with the NERC continent-wide UFLS Reliability Standard 
PRC-006-1. The Commission approves the related violation risk factors, 
violation severity levels, implementation plan, and effective dates 
proposed by NERC.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule will become effective April 29, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
Enakpodia Agbedia (Technical Information), Office of Electric 
Reliability, Division of Reliability Standards, Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, 
Telephone: (202) 502-6750, Enakpodia.Agbedia@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: 

Before Commissioners: Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman; Philip D. Moeller, 
John R. Norris, Cheryl A. LaFleur, and Tony T. Clark.

Final Rule

Issued February 21, 2013

    1. Under section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA),\1\ the 
Commission approves regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 
(Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding). The Commission also approves 
the related violation risk factors (VRFs), violation severity levels 
(VSLs), implementation plan, and effective dates proposed by the North 
American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). NERC submitted 
regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 to the Commission for 
approval. The regional Reliability Standard applies to generator 
owners, planning coordinators, distribution providers, and transmission 
owners in the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) Region and is 
designed to ensure the development of an effective automatic 
underfrequency load shedding (UFLS) program to preserve the security 
and integrity of the Bulk-Power System during declining system 
frequency events, in coordination with NERC's continent-wide UFLS 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 16 U.S.C. 824o (2006).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 that are subject to Commission review and 
approval. Once approved, the Reliability Standards may be enforced by 
NERC (the Commission-certified ERO), subject to Commission oversight, 
or by the Commission independently.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ 16 U.S.C. 824o(e) (2006).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. A Regional Entity may develop a Reliability Standard for 
Commission approval to be effective in that region only.\3\ In Order 
No. 672, the Commission stated that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ 16 U.S.C. 824o(e)(4). A Regional Entity is an entity 
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.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ 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 (2006), order on reh'g, Order No. 
672-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ] 31,212 (2006).

    4. On April 19, 2007, the Commission accepted delegation agreements 
between NERC and each of the eight Regional Entities.\5\ In the order, 
the Commission accepted NPCC as a Regional Entity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ North American Electric Reliability Corp., 119 FERC ] 61,060 
(2007), order on reh'g, 120 FERC ] 61,260 (2007).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    5. NERC's Commission-approved and currently-effective Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-1 establishes continent-wide design and documentation 
requirements for UFLS programs that arrest declining frequency and 
assist recovery of frequency following system events leading to 
frequency degradation.

B. NERC Petition

    6. On May 4, 2012, NERC petitioned the Commission to approve 
regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 and the related violation 
risk factors, violation severity levels, effective dates, and 
implementation plan.\6\ On August 3, 2012, NERC filed an errata 
regarding the proposed implementation plan. NERC stated that regional 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 is based on the program 
characteristics defined within NPCC Directory 12 
Underfrequency Load Shedding Program Requirements (NPCC Directory 
12), which contains the criteria that govern the NPCC 
Automatic UFLS program that have been in place since June 26, 2009.\7\ 
According to NERC, regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 will 
achieve a coordinated, comprehensive UFLS region-wide consistent 
program within the NPCC Region and provides the regional requirements 
necessary to achieve and facilitate the broader program characteristics 
contained in the requirements of the NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-
1.\8\ NERC stated that the regional Reliability Standard adds 
specificity not contained in NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 and is 
designed to work in conjunction with and augment Reliability Standard 
PRC-006-1 by mitigating the consequences of an underfrequency event, 
while accommodating differences in system transmission and distribution 
topology among NPCC planning coordinators due to historical design 
criteria, makeup of load demands, and generation resources.\9\ NERC 
further stated that regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 
facilitates uniformity and compliance, and clearly delineates what the 
applicable entities' requirements are within the NPCC Region to achieve 
a robust, reliable and effective UFLS program.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 is available on 
the Commission's eLibrary document retrieval system in Docket No. 
RM12-12-000 and on the NERC Web site, www.nerc.com.
    \7\ NERC Petition at 11.
    \8\ Id. at 29-30.
    \9\ Id.
    \10\ Id. at 30.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    7. In the petition, NERC proposed violation risk factors and 
violation severity levels for each requirement of the regional 
Reliability Standard, an implementation plan, and effective dates. NERC 
stated that these proposals were developed and reviewed for consistency 
with NERC and Commission guidelines. NERC proposed two effective dates 
for the regional Reliability Standard. NERC stated that Requirements R1 
through R7 would become effective on the first day of the first 
calendar quarter following applicable regulatory approval but no 
earlier than January 1, 2016. For Requirements R8 through R23, NERC 
stated that they will become effective the first day of the first 
calendar quarter

[[Page 13215]]

two years following applicable regulatory approval.

C. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    8. On September 20, 2012, the Commission issued a Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) proposing to approve regional Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory 
or preferential, and in the public interest.\11\ The Commission 
proposed to approve regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 
because it is designed to operate in conjunction with the NERC 
continent-wide UFLS Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 by mitigating the 
consequences of underfrequency events, while accommodating differences 
in system transmission and distribution topology among NPCC planning 
coordinators due to historical design criteria, makeup of load demands, 
and generation resources. The NOPR determined that the regional 
Reliability Standard includes requirements that are not found in the 
corresponding NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 and that are more 
stringent than Reliability Standard PRC-006-1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1--Automatic 
Underfrequency Load Shedding, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 77 FR 
59,151 (September 26, 2012), FERC Stats. & Regs. ] 32,691 (2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    9. While proposing to approve regional Reliability Standard PRC-
006-NPCC-1, the NOPR sought comment on two issues: (1) The technical 
basis for the 57.8 Hz maximum tripping limit for existing nuclear units 
established in Requirement R19; and (2) the time-frame for actions that 
result in changes to the NPCC UFLS program.
    10. In response to the NOPR, initial comments were filed by NERC, 
NPCC, New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), PSEG Companies 
(PSEG),\12\ and Dominion Resources Services, Inc. (Dominion).\13\ NERC 
and NPCC filed reply comments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ PSEG is comprised of PSEG Power LLC and PSEG Energy 
Resources & Trade LLC.
    \13\ Dominion filed comments on behalf of Virginia Electric and 
Power Company, 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Discussion

    11. Pursuant to FPA section 215(d)(2), we approve regional 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 as just, reasonable, not unduly 
discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. Regional 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 is designed to operate in 
conjunction with the NERC continent-wide UFLS Reliability Standard PRC-
006-1 by mitigating the consequences of underfrequency events, while 
accommodating differences in system transmission and distribution 
topology among NPCC planning coordinators. Regional Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 includes requirements that are not found in the 
corresponding NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 and that are more 
stringent than Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 while accommodating 
differences in system transmission and distribution topology among NPCC 
planning coordinators due to historical design criteria, makeup of load 
demands, and generation resources.
    12. We address below the following issues raised in the NOPR and/or 
comments: (A) Requirement R19--nuclear generating plants; (B) Time-
frame for completion of actions; (C) Compensatory load shedding 
requirements; and (D) violation risk factors and violations severity 
levels.

A. PRC-006-NPCC-1, Requirement R19

    13. In the NOPR, the Commission sought comments on the technical 
basis for the 57.8 Hz maximum tripping limit for existing nuclear units 
established in Requirement R19. The NOPR observed that Requirement R19 
provides that:

R19 Each Generator Owner of existing nuclear generating plants with 
units that have underfrequency relay threshold settings above the 
Eastern Interconnection generator tripping curve in Figure 1, based on 
their licensing design basis, shall: [Violation Risk Factor: High] 
[Time Horizon: Long Term Planning]
    19.1 Set the underfrequency protection to operate at as low a 
frequency as possible in accordance with the plant design licensing 
limitations but not greater than 57.8 Hz.
    19.2 Set the frequency trip setting upper tolerance to no greater 
than + 0.1 Hz.
    19.3 Transmit the initial frequency trip setting and any changes to 
the setting and the technical basis for the settings to the Planning 
Coordinator.

    14. The NOPR stated that the NERC petition did not explain the 
technical basis for establishing 57.8 Hz as the maximum frequency at 
which existing nuclear units may trip pursuant to Requirement R19.1, 
other than to state that the regional Reliability Standard was based on 
the work of an NPCC working group.\14\ The NOPR stated that the NERC 
petition and its attachments did not provide any information as to how 
the 57.8 Hz limit was developed. The NOPR sought comment from NPCC, 
NERC, and other interested entities explaining the technical basis for 
the 57.8 Hz limit established in Requirement R19.1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ NERC Petition at 11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments
    15. NPCC states that its UFLS program is designed to arrest 
frequency decline at or above 58.0 Hz while incorporating the 
performance characteristics of regional generation. In determining the 
57.8 Hz limit for existing nuclear units within the NPCC Region, NPCC 
states that it ``considered the minimum program frequency of 58.0 Hz, 
the existing maximum trip settings of the nuclear units (gathered 
through surveys) within NPCC's footprint, system response, and credible 
islands as determined by the NPCC Planning Coordinators.'' \15\ NPCC 
states that a maximum frequency threshold trip setting of 57.8 Hz for 
existing nuclear units provides a ``margin of 0.2 Hz above the highest 
frequency at which [the nuclear units in NPCC's footprint] are expected 
to be tripped by low coolant flow or under frequency protection and 
yields acceptable system performance with minimum changes required to 
the nuclear units.'' \16\ NPCC adds that it considered 0.2 Hz to be a 
conservative margin and was developed in consideration of the typical 
relay drift tolerance of  0.1 Hz,\17\ which ensures the 
units do not trip above 58.0 Hz. NPCC states that if existing nuclear 
units adhere to the 57.8 Hz maximum tripping limit requirement, 
``islands with a 25% generation deficiency are able to survive, 
maintain automatic UFLS program requirements, and the program will 
achieve satisfactory system performance.'' \18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ NPCC Initial Comments at 4.
    \16\ Id. at 5.
    \17\ NPCC states that a relay setting of 57.8 Hz with a typical 
relay drift tolerance of  0.1 Hz would result in actual 
trip bandwidth of between 57.9 Hz and 57.7 Hz.
    \18\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    16. NERC states that it supports the comments submitted by NPCC 
regarding the technical basis for the 57.8 Hz limit. NERC also states 
that the requirements in regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 
are consistent with the continent-wide UFLS Reliability Standard PRC-
006-1.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ NYISO supports approval of regional Reliability Standard 
PRC-006-NPCC-1 without modification. NYISO Comments at 2.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 13216]]

Commission Determination
    17. The Commission finds that NPCC has provided an adequate 
technical basis for the 57.8 Hz maximum frequency threshold trip 
setting for existing nuclear units, as set forth in Requirement R19. As 
explained by NPCC, a maximum frequency threshold trip setting of 57.8 
Hz for existing nuclear units provides a margin of 0.2 Hz above the 
highest frequency at which the nuclear units in NPCC's footprint are 
expected to trip by low coolant flow or underfrequency protection. 
Adherence to the 57.8 Hz limit should also result in islands with a 25% 
generation deficiency being able to survive and maintain automatic UFLS 
program requirements.

B. Time-Frame for Completion of Actions

    18. In the NOPR, the Commission sought comments on the time-frames 
for actions that result in changes to the NPCC UFLS program. The NOPR 
observed that NERC's Reliability Standard PRC-006-1, Requirement R3, 
requires the planning coordinator to set the schedule for distribution 
providers and transmission owners to implement the UFLS program and 
that regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1, Requirements R5, 
R16.2, and R19.3, require distribution providers, transmission owners, 
and generator owners to provide, inform, and transmit exceptions to the 
UFLS program and justifications for the exceptions to the planning 
coordinator. The NOPR stated that these Requirements in regional 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 do not specify a time-frame for the 
completion of these actions. The NOPR indicated that Requirements R5, 
R16.2, and R19.3 address actions that can result in changes to the UFLS 
program and should occur before the UFLS program is implemented, thus 
making it necessary for entities to provide the required information to 
the planning coordinator within a specified period of time. The NOPR 
further observed that other Requirements in regional Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 require actions of distribution providers, 
transmission owners, and generator owners that should occur before the 
UFLS program is implemented and that those actions include specific 
time-frames for completion.\20\ The NOPR sought comment on whether 
Requirements R5, R16.2, and R19.3 should also specify time-frames for 
completion of the required actions and, if so, the appropriate time-
frames for each.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ See, e.g., Requirements R11, R14, and R23 of proposed 
regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments
    19. NPCC states that Requirement R5 addresses a limited set of non-
conforming circumstances and places the burden on entities to 
demonstrate that such non-conforming circumstances do not degrade the 
overall performance of the UFLS program. NPCC states that the absence 
of time-frames for completion of the required actions in Requirement R5 
means that responsible entities are required to notify the NPCC 
planning coordinator ``upon identification of any non-conformance with 
Requirement R5.'' \21\ NPCC states that this is the current practice 
with respect to applicable entities. NPCC states that providing a time-
frame would ``result in delays of the transmittal of critical 
information to the Planning Coordinator which could potentially impact 
UFLS system performance.'' \22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ NPCC Initial Comments at 7.
    \22\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    20. NPCC states that Requirement R16 addresses an existing class of 
non-nuclear units that ``trip above the threshold curve for setting 
underfrequency trip protection for generators and which already provide 
compensatory load shedding in accordance with existing procedures.'' 
\23\ NPCC states that ``Planning Coordinators within NPCC have 
information for the class of existing units for R16, with 
underfrequency protection set to trip above the curve in Figure 1, [and 
thus] assigning time-frames is of no benefit to the program.'' \24\ 
NPCC states, however, that Requirement R16.2 also requires changes to 
underfrequency settings, along with the technical basis for those 
settings from generators in this class of units, to be transmitted to 
the planning coordinator. NPCC maintains that ``[i]t is the expectation 
that in the absence of a time-frame,'' in Requirement R16.2 those 
entities, ``immediately upon identification of such a change,'' would 
notify the Planning Coordinator.\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ Id.
    \24\ Id. at 7-8.
    \25\ Id. at 8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    21. NPCC states that Requirement R19.3, similar to the requirements 
regarding non-nuclear units in Requirement R16.2, requires responsible 
entities to provide planning coordinators with the current operating 
parameters of an existing class of nuclear units that trip above the 
threshold curve for setting underfrequency trip protection for 
generators units. NPCC further states that like Requirement R16.2, 
Requirement 19.3 requires responsible entities to transmit changes to 
the underfrequency settings to the planning coordinator. NPCC maintains 
that, in the absence of time-frames, responsible entities must notify 
the planning coordinator ``immediately upon identification of such 
change.'' \26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

    22. NPCC also states that there is a limited number of existing 
nuclear and non-nuclear units that trip above the curve in Figure 1. 
NPCC notes that Requirement R15 requires that all new units conform to 
the curve in Figure 1. According to NPCC, the number of units that must 
comply with Requirement R16 and Requirement R19 is limited to the 
existing set of units described above and thus the inclusions of time-
frames is unnecessary.
    23. NERC states that it supports the comments submitted by NPCC on 
this issue.
Commission Determination
    24. The Commission finds that NPCC has provided adequate 
justification for not including specific time-frames in Requirements 
R5, R16.2, and R19.3. NPCC states that these Requirements apply to a 
limited number of existing nuclear and non-nuclear units whose 
performance characteristics are already incorporated in the regional 
UFLS program, and that planning coordinators within NPCC have the 
existing technical parameters necessary to incorporate existing unit 
attributes and compensatory load shedding information into their 
assessment. NPCC further states that the absence of specific time-
frames in these Requirements means that responsible entities must 
immediately notify planning coordinators upon identification of any 
non-conformance or changes to underfrequency settings pursuant to these 
Requirements. The Commission determines that this satisfies the concern 
raised in the NOPR.

C. Compensatory Load Shedding Requirements

    25. Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1, Requirements R3, R16 and 
R18, address compensatory load shedding.\27\ In particular, Requirement 
R16.3 requires generator owners of existing non-nuclear units that have 
non-conforming underfrequency

[[Page 13217]]

protection set points to, among other things, ``[h]ave compensatory 
load shedding, as provided by a Distribution Provider or Transmission 
Owner that is adequate to compensate for the loss of their generator 
due to early tripping.'' Requirement R18 requires that ``[e]ach 
Generator Owner, Distribution Provider or Transmission Owner within the 
Planning Coordinator area of ISO-NE or the New York ISO shall apply the 
criteria described in Attachment B to determine the compensatory load 
shedding that is required in Requirement R16.3 for generating units in 
its respective NPCC area.'' Attachment B, Section 2.5, provides that 
the ``amount of compensatory load shedding shall be equivalent (5%) to the average net generator megawatt output for the prior 
two calendar years, as specified by the Planning Coordinator, plus 
expected station loads to be transferred to the system upon loss of the 
facility.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ Compensatory load shedding is automatic shedding of load 
adequate to compensate for the loss of a generator due to the 
generator tripping early (i.e., because the generator has 
underfrequency protection set to trip above the curve in Figure 1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments
    26. Dominion states that there are technical difficulties 
associated with Requirements R16.3 and R18. Dominion states that 
shedding additional load equivalent to a non-conforming generator would 
be extremely difficult to design and coordinate and that the design 
would have to account for the real-time status and output of the 
generator. Dominion also states that Requirements R16.3 and R18 are 
unreasonable because they require non-conforming generators to procure 
compensatory load shedding service for which Dominion has found no 
willing provider. Dominion maintains that, as a result, the regional 
Reliability Standard cannot be practically implemented and may have an 
adverse impact on the Bulk-Power System. Dominion further states that 
NPCC's assertion that generators in NPCC are already following these 
procedures as part of NPCC Directory 12 is misleading because 
only NPCC Full Members are required to follow the existing criteria. 
Dominion maintains that the regional Reliability Standard will impact a 
number of generators that are not NPCC Full Members. In addition, 
Dominion observes that several entities raised concerns with the 
compensatory load shedding provisions during the regional Reliability 
Standard drafting process. Dominion also maintains that Order No. 
763,\28\ in which the Commission approved the continent-wide NERC UFLS 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-1, supports Dominion's position that it is 
inappropriate for the regional Reliability Standard ``to require a non-
conforming generator to obtain compensating load shedding as it is 
ultimately the planning coordinators responsibility to design the UFLS 
system to account for such generator.'' \29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ Automatic Underfrequency Load Shedding and Load Shedding 
Plans Reliability Standards, Order No. 763, 139 FERC ] 61,098, 
clarified, 140 FERC ] 61,164 (2012).
    \29\ Dominion Comments at 8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    27. PSEG states that it is inappropriate for planning coordinators 
to assign responsibility for compensatory load shedding, asserting that 
it is inconsistent with Order No. 763. PSEG also contends that the 
regional Reliability Standard contravenes the prohibition in FPA 
section 215 against setting standards for ``adequacy or safety of 
electric facilities or services'' because the regional Reliability 
Standard requires generator owners with existing non-conforming units 
to construct additional capacity or acquire off-setting UFLS at their 
expense.\30\ PSEG also states that Requirement R16 imposes obligations 
upon generator owners that are absent from the NERC Reliability 
Functional Model.\31\ PSEG states that one of the tasks of a generator 
owner is to ``[p]rovide verified generating facility performance 
characteristics/data,'' but that there is no obligation for generators 
to compensate other entities for performance that does not meet a 
specific level. PSEG further states that distribution providers and 
transmission owners in NPCC do not have tariffs in place that would 
permit them to charge and/or provide generator owners with compensatory 
load shedding.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ 16 U.S.C. 824o(i)(2). PSEG also contends that the regional 
Reliability Standard contravenes the definition of ``Reliability 
Standard'' in FPA section 215, which excludes ``any requirement to 
enlarge [Bulk-Power System] facilities or to construct new 
transmission capacity or generation capacity.'' 16 U.S.C. 
824o(a)(3).
    \31\ The NERC Reliability Functional Model provides the 
framework for the development and applicability of NERC's 
Reliability Standards. NERC, Reliability Functional Model, Version 5 
at 7 (approved May 2010), available at http://www.nerc.com/files/Functional_Model_V5_Final_2009Dec1.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    28. In reply to Dominion's and PSEG's comments, NPCC states that 
the regional Reliability Standard drafting team considered comments 
regarding the difficulty of designing and coordinating the shedding of 
load equivalent to a non-conforming generator, but that the overarching 
reliability objective of re-establishing a balance between load and 
generation during possible islanding events made shedding additional 
load necessary. NPCC states that it is impractical to expect an exact 
match between compensatory load shedding and unit output but maintains 
that compensatory load shedding based on an average megawatt output, as 
provided in Attachment B, aligns the amount of compensatory load 
shedding with the unit output most likely to be lost when the unit 
trips prematurely. NPCC further states that requiring compensatory load 
shedding based on a two year average net generator megawatt output is 
an effective approach to integrating small non-conforming generators 
into the design of a UFLS program. In addition, NPCC observes that that 
Regional Criteria requiring non-conforming generation to secure 
compensatory load shedding preexist the development of the regional 
Reliability Standard and that it is a cost effective alternative for 
generators. With respect to Order No. 763, NPCC states that the 
regional Reliability Standard is consistent with the Commission's 
determination that it is appropriate for planning coordinators to 
consider generators that trip outside of the UFLS set points.
    29. NPCC maintains that the regional Reliability Standard 
Requirements R1 and R3 are ``only intended to communicate the results 
of locational assessments, and there is no obligation to obtain 
compensatory load shedding based solely on this information nor does 
the Planning Coordinator determine whether mitigation is necessary or 
who will be responsible for providing mitigation.'' \32\ NPCC states 
that compensatory load shedding is merely an option to bring non-
conforming generators into compliance. In response to comments 
regarding the absence of tariffs that permit for compensatory load 
shedding service, NPCC states that such concerns are tempered by the 
fact that all new generators, going forward, must conform with the 
underfrequency trip performance characteristics in the regional 
Reliability Standard and that compensatory load shedding only 
potentially impacts existing, non-conforming, non-nuclear units.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ NPCC Reply Comments at 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    30. NPCC further notes that the existing compensatory load shedding 
requirements are presently contained in NPCC Directory 12 and 
``have been successfully implemented within the region * * * and non-
conforming generators that are already interconnected either have 
existing contracts to provide compensatory load shedding or have 
mitigated the conditions that would trip the unit above the performance 
curve in order to comply with the Regional Criteria.'' \33\

[[Page 13218]]

NPCC states that the regional Reliability Standard achieved an 83.5 
percent overall approval ``with a majority of registered Generator 
Owners in the region voting to approve the standard.'' \34\ With 
respect to FPA section 215, NPCC maintains that compensatory load 
shedding does not present a resource adequacy issue but, instead, 
addresses a generating unit's ability to perform, with the generator 
having the option of meeting the performance curve, mitigating the 
operating condition, or obtaining compensatory load shedding. With 
respect to the NERC Reliability Functional Model, NPCC states that the 
absence of a task within the functional model does not preclude 
assigning a new or existing task based on a new or revised Reliability 
Standard. NPCC states that the functional model only defines the 
functions that must be performed to ensure the reliability of the bulk 
electric system and should not be used to restrict a reliability-
related activity or Reliability Standard requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ Id. at 6-7.
    \34\ Id. at 9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    31. In reply to Dominion's and PSEG's comments, NERC states it 
never intended to suggest that it is inappropriate for planning 
coordinators to determine whether mitigation is necessary and who will 
provide mitigation with respect to generators that trip outside the 
UFLS set points in UFLS programs. NERC states that ``[o]n the contrary, 
the Planning Coordinator is one of the functional entities with 
responsibility for maintaining the reliability of the Bulk-Power 
System.'' \35\ NERC maintains that it has stated that it is 
inappropriate for a Reliability Standard to supplant the planning 
coordinator's role in establishing UFLS program requirements. However, 
NERC states that regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 
``reflects the NPCC Planning Coordinators' collective assessment of how 
to address this concern.'' \36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ NERC Reply Comments at 2.
    \36\ Id. at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    32. Further, NERC claims that the technical concerns raised in the 
comments are overstated. NERC states that concerns ``regarding 
potential overfrequency excursions due to overcompensating when a 
generating unit with non-conforming trip setting is off-line would be 
appropriate if compensatory loadshedding was applied to large 
generating units or if the provision was open-ended with applicability 
to future generating units not studied by the Planning Coordinator.'' 
\37\ NERC observes that the compensatory load shedding provisions in 
the regional Reliability Standard, by contrast, are limited to a 
``defined amount of generating capacity that is included in Planning 
Coordinator assessments, [and] does not jeopardize reliability of the 
Bulk-Power System.'' \38\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ Id. at 4.
    \38\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Commission Determination
    33. The Commission rejects the protests made by Dominion and PSEG 
regarding the compensatory load shedding provisions of regional 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1. Based on the record before us, we 
are not persuaded that the compensatory load shedding option for 
existing, non-conforming units in Requirement R16 presents a technical 
barrier to implementation of the regional Reliability Standard. NPCC 
states that generators already comply with the compensatory load 
shedding requirements in NPCC Directory 12, which is not 
disputed by Dominion and PSEG. While Dominion maintains that the 
regional Reliability Standard will require more generators (i.e., non-
NPCC Full Members) to comply with the compensatory load shedding 
requirement, the fact that there are generators who do so now refutes 
the assertion that the requirement is technically or practically 
infeasible.\39\ Moreover, we agree with NERC that the concerns 
regarding overfrequency excursions due to overcompensating for loss of 
off-line units might be valid if compensatory load shedding was applied 
to large generating units or to new generating units, but that is not 
the case here since compensatory load shedding only applies to 
existing, non-conforming, non-nuclear units. We also observe that, 
according to the implementation plan, compliance with Requirements 
R16.3 and R18 will become effective the first day of the first calendar 
quarter two years following applicable regulatory approval. Thus, the 
implementation plan provides existing, non-conforming generators a 
significant amount of time to prepare for compliance with the regional 
Reliability Standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ We also note NPCC's statement that the regional Reliability 
Standard achieved an 83.5 percent overall approval ``with a majority 
of registered Generator Owners in the region voting to approve the 
standard.'' See NPCC Reply Comments at 9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    34. We agree with NPCC that the NERC Reliability Functional Model 
does not preclude the assignment of a new or revised task in a 
Reliability Standard, such as to generator owners. The NERC Reliability 
Functional Model provides that:
The Model is a guideline for the development of standards and their 
applicability. The Model it [sic] is not a Standard and does not have 
compliance requirements. Standards developers are not required to 
include all tasks envisioned in the model, nor are the developers 
precluded from developing Reliability Standards that address functions 
not described in the model. Where conflicts or inconsistency exist, the 
Reliability Standards requirements take precedence over the Model.\40\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ NERC Reliability Functional Model, Version 5 at 7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    35. We disagree with Dominion and PSEG that the regional 
Reliability Standard is inconsistent with Order No. 763. In the context 
of the rulemaking addressing the continent-wide UFLS Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-1, Order No. 763 explained that it would be 
inappropriate to include in Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 specific 
requirements as to how to mitigate generators that tripped outside of 
the UFLS program (e.g., by procuring load to shed).\41\ We agree with 
NERC that, while it is inappropriate for a continent-wide Reliability 
Standard to supplant the planning coordinator's role in establishing 
UFLS program requirements, the regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-
NPCC-1 incorporates the NPCC's planning coordinators' views and 
experience.\42\ Accordingly, we see no inconsistency between Order No. 
763 and our determination in this Final Rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \41\ Order No. 763, 139 FERC ] 61,098 at P 58.
    \42\ We also note that the Commission granted clarification of 
Order No. 763, regarding NERC's NOPR comments on compensatory load 
shedding, and found that NERC stated that ``it is not appropriate 
for the Reliability Standards to prescribe how a planning 
coordinator determines whether mitigation is necessary or who is 
responsible for providing mitigation.'' Automatic Underfrequency 
Load Shedding and Load Shedding Plans Reliability Standards, Order 
No. 763, 139 FERC ] 61,098, clarified, 140 FERC ] 61,164, at P 12 
(2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    36. Finally, we reject the claim that the compensatory load 
shedding provisions in regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 
contravene FPA section 215. As discussed above, the compensatory load 
shedding option for existing, non-conforming, non-nuclear units is one 
option for such generators. Generator owners may instead choose to 
bring their units into compliance rather than secure compensatory load 
shedding. We do not find that the regional Reliability Standard 
implicates the proscription in FPA section 215 against ordering the

[[Page 13219]]

``construction of additional generation or transmission capacity or to 
set and enforce compliance with standards for adequacy or safety of 
electric facilities or services.'' The regional Reliability Standard 
does not require responsible entities to construct additional 
generation capacity or address the adequacy of electric facilities 
services. Instead, it merely requires generator owners, if they choose 
to, to secure compensatory load shedding to balance the performance 
characteristics of their existing, non-conforming units.
D. Violation Risk Factors, Violation Severity Levels, Implementation 
Plan, and Effective Dates
    37. In the NOPR, the Commission proposed to approve NERC's proposed 
violation risk factors and violation severity levels for regional 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 as consistent with the Commission's 
established guidelines.\43\ In addition, the Commission proposed to 
accept the implementation plan and effective dates proposed by NERC for 
regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ See North American Electric Reliability Corp., 135 FERC ] 
61,166 (2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments
    38. No comments were received that specifically addressed the 
violation risk factors, violation severity levels, implementation plan, 
and effective dates proposed by NERC.\44\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ Dominion's comments regarding the technical and practical 
feasibility of implementing regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-
NPCC-1 were addressed in the previous section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Commission Determination
    39. The Commission approves the violation risk factors, violation 
severity levels, implementation plan, and effective dates proposed by 
NERC.

III. Information Collection Statement

    40. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations require 
that OMB approve certain reporting and recordkeeping (collections of 
information) imposed by an agency.\45\ 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ 5 CFR 1320.11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    41. 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. The Commission solicited comments 
on the need for and the purpose of the information contained in 
regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 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. The 
Final Rule approves regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1. As 
noted previously, this is the first time NERC has requested Commission 
approval of regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1. Regional 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 is designed to work with and 
augment the NERC continent-wide UFLS Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 by 
mitigating the consequences of underfrequency events, while 
accommodating differences in system transmission and distribution 
topology among NPCC planning coordinators due to historical design 
criteria, makeup of load demands, and generation resources. Regional 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 is only applicable to generator 
owners, planning coordinators, distribution providers, and transmission 
owners in the NPCC Region. To properly account for the burden on 
respondents, the Commission will treat the burden resulting from NERC-
approved Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 as pertaining to entities 
within the NPCC Region.
    42. Public Reporting Burden: Our estimate below regarding the 
number of respondents is based on the NERC Compliance Registry as of 
July 24, 2012. According to the NERC Compliance Registry, there are 2 
planning coordinators and 135 generator owners within the United States 
portion of the NPCC 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.\46\ Additionally, generator owners must set each underfrequency trip 
relay below the appropriate generator underfrequency trip protection 
settings threshold curve in regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-
1, Figure 1 and provide the generator underfrequency trip setting and 
time delay to its planning coordinator within 45 days of the planning 
coordinator's request. These burden estimates are consistent with 
estimates for similar tasks in other Commission-approved Reliability 
Standards. The following burden estimates relate to the requirements 
for this Final Rule in Docket No. RM12-12-000 (For Planning 
Coordinators) and are in addition to the burden estimates for the 
continent-wide Reliability Standard PRC-006-1, which was approved in 
Order No. 763 (approved by OMB Control No. 1902-0244 on 7/9/2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ The burden estimates for Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 are 
included in Order No. 763 and are not repeated here.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 applies to planning 
coordinators, transmission owners, distribution providers and 
generator owners. However, the burden associated with the 
transmission owners and distribution providers is not included 
within this table because the Commission accounted for it under 
Commission-approved Reliability Standards PRC-006-1, PRC-007-0 and 
PRC-009-0.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Number of       Number of    Average burden
      PRC-006-NPCC-1 (FERC-725L) (Automatic         respondents    responses per     hours per     Total annual
        Underfrequency Load Shedding) 47             annually       respondent       response      burden hours
                                                             (1)             (2)             (3)     (1)x(2)x(3)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PCs*: Design and document Automatic UFLS Program               2               1               8              16
PCs: Update and Maintain UFLS Program Database..  ..............  ..............              16              32
GOs*: Provide Documentation and Data to the                  135               1              16            2160
 Planning Coordinator...........................
GOs: Record Retention...........................  ..............  ..............               4             540
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................  ..............  ..............  ..............            2748
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* PC=planning coordinator; GO=generator owner.


[[Page 13220]]

    Total Annual Hours for Collection: (Compliance/Documentation) = 
2,748 hours.
    Total Reporting Cost for planning coordinators: = 48 hours @ $120/
hour = $5,760.
    Total Reporting Cost for generator owners: = 2,160 hours @ $120/
hour = $259,200.
    Total Record Retention Cost for generator owners: 540 hours @ $28/
hour = $15,120.
    Total Annual Cost (Reporting + Record Retention) \48\: = $5,760 + 
$259,200 + $15,120 = $280,080.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ The Commission bases the hourly reporting cost 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Title: Mandatory Reliability Standards for the NPCC Region.
    Action: Proposed Collection FERC-725L.
    OMB Control No.: 1902-0261.
    Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit institutions; not-for-
profit institutions.
    Frequency of Responses: On Occasion.
    Necessity of the Information: This Final Rule approves regional 
Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 pertaining to automatic 
underfrequency load shedding. The regional Reliability Standard helps 
ensure the development of an effective UFLS program that preserves the 
security and integrity of the Bulk-Power System during declining system 
frequency events in coordination with the continent-wide Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-1 requirements.
    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 NPCC Region.
    43. 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].
    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 FERC-725L and Docket Number RM12-12-
000.

IV. Environmental Analysis

    44. 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.\49\ 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.\50\ The actions proposed here 
fall within this categorical exclusion in the Commission's regulations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ Regulations Implementing 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).
    \50\ 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    45. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) \51\ 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.\52\ 
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.\53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \51\ 5 U.S.C. 601-612.
    \52\ 13 CFR 121.101.
    \53\ 13 CFR 121.201, Sector 22, Utilities & n.1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    46. Regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 establishes a 
coordinated, comprehensive UFLS region-wide consistent program with the 
NPCC region to achieve and facilitate the broader program 
characteristics contained in the requirements of the continent-wide 
PRC-006-1.\54\ It will be applicable to planning coordinators, 
generator owners, transmission owners and distribution providers. 
Comparison of the NERC Compliance Registry with data submitted to the 
Energy Information Administration on Form EIA-861 indicates that 5 
small entities are registered as generator owners in the United States 
portion of the NPCC Region.\55\ The Commission estimates that the small 
generator owners to whom the proposed regional Reliability Standard 
applies will incur compliance and record keeping costs of $10,160 
($2,032 per generator owner). Accordingly, regional Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 should not impose a significant operating cost 
increase or decrease on the affected small entities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ NERC Petition at 29-30.
    \55\ The two planning coordinators in the United States portion 
of the NPCC Region are not considered small entities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    47. Further, NERC explains that the cost for smaller entities to 
implement regional Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 was considered 
during the development process. NERC states that regional Reliability 
Standard PRC-006-NPCC-1 provides an opportunity for smaller entities to 
aggregate their load with other such entities in the same electrical 
island. This allows each smaller entity's respective planning 
coordinator to achieve the desired aggregate outcome within that island 
according to program characteristics.\56\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \56\ NERC Petition at 25.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    48. Based on this understanding, the Commission certifies that the 
regional Reliability Standard will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, no 
regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

VI. Document Availability

    49. 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.
    50. 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

[[Page 13221]]

digits of this document in the docket number field.
    51. 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

    52. These regulations are effective April 29, 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.
Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2013-04430 Filed 2-26-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P