[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 100 (Thursday, May 23, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 30804-30810]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-12139]



[[Page 30804]]

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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

18 CFR Part 40

[Docket Nos. RM12-1-000 and RM13-9-000]


Transmission Planning Reliability Standards

AGENCY: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: On April 19, 2012, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NOPR) that proposed to remand proposed Reliability Standard 
TPL-001-2, submitted by the North American Electric Reliability 
Corporation (NERC). Proposed Reliability Standard TPL-001-2 includes a 
provision that would allow a transmission planner to plan for non-
consequential load loss following a single contingency provided that 
the plan is documented and vetted in an open and transparent 
stakeholder process. The Commission explained in the NOPR that the 
proposed Reliability Standard does not meet the statutory criteria for 
approval because the provision pertaining to planned non-consequential 
load loss is vague and unenforceable.
    On February 28, 2013, NERC submitted proposed Reliability Standard 
TPL-001-4, which further modifies the planned non-consequential load 
loss provision. The Commission believes that the proposed modifications 
satisfy the concerns set forth in the NOPR. Accordingly, the Commission 
supplements the NOPR by proposing to approve Reliability Standard TPL-
001-4, which supersedes proposed Reliability Standard TPL-001-2.

DATES: Comments are due June 24, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number by any 
of the following methods:
     Agency Web site: http://www.ferc.gov. Documents created 
electronically using word processing software should be filed in native 
applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format.
     Mail/Hand Delivery: Commenters unable to file comments 
electronically must mail or hand deliver comments to: Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street 
NE., Washington, DC 20426.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Eugene Blick (Technical Information), Office of Electric Reliability, 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, 
DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-8066, Eugene.Blick@ferc.gov.
Robert T. Stroh (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, 
DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-8473, Robert.Stroh@ferc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

(Issued May 16, 2013)
    1. On April 19, 2012, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NOPR) that proposed to remand proposed Reliability Standard 
TPL-001-2, submitted by the North American Electric Reliability 
Corporation (NERC), the Commission-certified Electric Reliability 
Organization.\1\ Proposed Transmission Planning (TPL) Reliability 
Standard TPL-001-2 includes a provision that would allow a transmission 
planner to plan for non-consequential load loss following a single 
contingency provided that the plan is documented and vetted in an open 
and transparent stakeholder process. The Commission explained in the 
NOPR that the proposed Reliability Standard does not meet the statutory 
criteria for approval because the provision pertaining to planned non-
consequential load loss is vague and unenforceable.
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    \1\ Transmission Planning Reliability Standards, Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking, 139 FERC ] 61,059 (April 19, 2012) (Docket No. 
RM12-1-000).
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    2. On February 28, 2013, NERC submitted proposed Reliability 
Standard TPL-001-4, which further modifies the planned load loss 
provision.\2\ The Commission believes that the proposed modifications 
satisfy the concerns set forth in the NOPR. Accordingly, pursuant to 
section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), the Commission supplements 
the NOPR by proposing to approve proposed Reliability Standard TPL-001-
4, which supersedes the proposed Reliability Standard TPL-001-2.\3\
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    \2\ NERC states that the Version 4 standard, i.e., TPL-001-4, 
modifies the pending consolidated standard, TPL-001-2. NERC also 
submitted, alternatively, a group of four TPL standards (TPL-001-3, 
TPL-002-2b, TPL-003-2a, and TPL-004-2, collectively, the Version 3 
TPL standards) that would modify ``footnote b'' of the currently-
effective TPL standards, ``[i]n the event the Commission does not 
approve the Consolidated TPL Standards.'' NERC Petition at 4. 
Because we propose to approve TPL-001-4 in this supplemental NOPR, 
references throughout this NOPR are to the Version 4 standard.
    \3\ 16 U.S.C. 824o (2006).
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I. Background

A. Regulatory History

    3. In Order No. 693, the Commission accepted the Version 0 TPL 
Reliability Standards.\4\ Further, pursuant to FPA section 215(d)(5), 
the Commission directed NERC to develop modifications to TPL-001-0 
through TPL-004-0 through the Reliability Standards development 
process. In addition, the Commission neither approved nor remanded two 
other planning Reliability Standards, TPL-005-0 and TPL-006-0, as these 
two Reliability Standards applied only to regional reliability 
organizations. With regard to Reliability Standard TPL-002-0b, Table 1, 
footnote `b,' which pertains to loss of non-consequential load, the 
Commission directed NERC to clarify footnote `b' regarding the loss of 
non-consequential load for a single contingency event.\5\ In a March 
18, 2010 order, the Commission directed NERC to submit a modification 
to footnote `b' responsive to the Commission's directive in Order No. 
693 by June 30, 2010.\6\ In a June 11, 2010 order, the Commission 
extended the compliance deadline until March 31, 2011.\7\
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    \4\ Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System, 
Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ] 31,242 at PP 1840, 1845, order 
on reh'g, Order No. 693-A, 120 FERC ] 61,053 (2007). The currently-
effective versions of the TPL Reliability Standards are as follows: 
TPL-001-0.1, TPL-002-0b, TPL-003-0a, and TPL-004-0.
    \5\ Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ] 31,242 at P 1792.
    \6\ Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk Power System, 
130 FERC ] 61,200 (2010).
    \7\ Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk Power System, 
131 FERC ] 61,231 (2010).
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Remand of Footnote `b'--Version 1 (RM11-18-000)
    4. On March 31, 2011, NERC submitted proposed Reliability Standard 
TPL-002-1 (Version 1), which proposed to modify Table 1, footnote `b' 
to permit planned non-consequential load loss when documented and 
subject to an open stakeholder process.\8\ In Order No. 762, the 
Commission remanded to NERC the proposed modification to footnote `b,' 
concluding that the proposed revisions did not meet the Commission's 
Order No. 693 directives, nor did the revisions achieve an equally

[[Page 30805]]

effective and efficient alternative.\9\ The Commission stated that the 
proposal did not adequately clarify or define the circumstances in 
which an entity can use planned non-consequential load loss as a 
mitigation plan to meet Table 1 performance requirements for single 
contingency events. The Commission also stated that the procedural and 
substantive parameters of NERC's proposal were too undefined to provide 
assurances that the process will be effective in determining when it is 
appropriate to plan for non-consequential load loss, does not contain 
NERC-defined criteria on circumstances to determine when an exception 
for planned non-consequential load loss is permissible, and could 
result in inconsistent results in implementation. Accordingly, the 
Commission remanded the filing to NERC, directing NERC to revise 
footnote `b' to address the Commission's concerns described in Order 
No. 762. Additionally, in Order No. 762, the Commission directed NERC 
to ``identify the specific instances of any planned interruptions of 
firm demand under footnote `b' and how frequently the provision has 
been used.'' \10\
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    \8\ See Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ] 31,242 at P 1794. 
Non-consequential load loss includes the removal, by any means, of 
any planned firm load that is not directly served by the elements 
that are removed from service as a result of the contingency. 
Currently-effective footnote `b' deals with both consequential load 
loss and non-consequential load loss. NERC's proposed footnote `b' 
characterized both types of load loss as ``firm demand.'' The focus 
of this Supplemental NOPR is NERC's proposed treatment of non-
consequential load loss or planned interruption of ``firm demand.''
    \9\ Transmission Planning Reliability Standards, Order No. 762, 
139 FERC ] 61,060 (2012).
    \10\ Order No. 762, 139 FERC ] 61,060 at P 20.
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Proposed Remand of TPL-001-2--Version 2 (RM12-1-000)
    5. On October 19, 2011, NERC submitted a petition seeking approval 
of a revised and consolidated TPL Reliability Standard that combined 
the four currently-effective TPL Standards into a single standard, TPL-
001-2 (Version 2).\11\ The Version 2 standard includes language similar 
to NERC's Version 1 March 31, 2011, proposal to revise and clarify 
footnote `b' of Table 1. In developing Version 2, NERC slightly 
modified the proposed footnote `b' in Version 1 and divided footnote 
`b' in Version 1 into two footnotes in Version 2, Steady State & 
Stability Performance Footnotes 9 and 12.\12\ However, the concerns the 
Commission raised with respect to the Version 1 footnote `b' remained 
in footnote 12 of Version 2. Footnote 12 in Version 2 was in all 
material respects the same as the portion of footnote `b' in Version 1 
that was the subject of remand in Order No. 762.
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    \11\ NERC's October 2011 petition sought approval of Reliability 
Standard TPL-001-2, the associated implementation plan and Violation 
Risk Factors (VRFs) and Violation Severity Levels (VSLs), as well as 
five new definitions to be added to the NERC Glossary of Terms 
(Version 2). NERC also requested approval to retire four currently-
effective TPL Reliability Standards: TPL-001-1, TPL-002-1b, TPL-003-
1a; and TPL-004-1. In addition, NERC requested to withdraw two 
pending Reliability Standards: TPL-005-0 and TPL-006-0.1.
    \12\ NERC Petition at 12. NERC's proposal in Docket No. RM11-18-
000, Table 1, footnote `b' referred to planned load shed as planned 
``interruption of Firm Demand.'' In footnote 12, NERC has changed 
the term from ``interruption of Firm Demand'' to utilization of 
``Non-Consequential Load Loss.''
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    6. On the same day that the Commission issued Order No. 762, it 
issued a NOPR in Docket No. RM12-1-000, stating that, notwithstanding 
that proposed Version 2 included specific improvements over the 
currently-effective Transmission Planning Reliability Standards, 
footnote 12 ``allow[s] for transmission planners to plan for non-
consequential load loss following a single contingency without adequate 
safeguards [and] undermines the potential benefits the proposed 
Reliability Standard may provide.'' \13\ Thus, the Commission stated 
that, pursuant to section 215(d)(4), its concerns regarding the 
stakeholder process set forth in footnote 12 required a proposal to 
remand the entire Reliability Standard. The Commission added, however, 
that ``resolution of this one matter will allow the industry, NERC and 
the Commission to go forward with the consideration of other 
improvements contained in proposed [Version 2].'' \14\
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    \13\ NOPR, 139 FERC ] 61,059 at P 55.
    \14\ Id. at P 3.
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    7. In addition, the NOPR asked for comment on various aspects of 
the consolidated Version 2 TPL Standard, including planned maintenance 
outages, assessment of backup or redundant protection systems, and 
single line to ground faults. Comments on the NOPR were due by July 20, 
2012. Nine entities submitted comments.

B. Proposed Reliability Standard TPL-001-4--Version 4 (RM13-9-000)

    8. On February 28, 2013, NERC submitted proposed Reliability 
Standard TPL-001-4 (Version 4) in response to the Commission's remand 
in Order No. 762 and concerns identified in the Commission's NOPR 
issued in Docket No. RM12-1-000.\15\ NERC states that modified footnote 
12 provides specific parameters for the permissible use of planned non-
consequential load loss to address bulk electric system performance 
issues, including: (1) Firm limitations on the maximum amount of load 
that an entity may plan to shed, (2) safeguards to ensure against 
inconsistent results and arbitrary determinations that allow for the 
planned non-consequential load loss, and (3) a more specifically 
defined, open and transparent, verifiable, and enforceable stakeholder 
process.
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    \15\ Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 is not attached to the 
Supplemental NOPR. The complete text of Reliability Standard TPL-
001-4 is available on the Commission's eLibrary document retrieval 
system in Docket No. RM13-9-000 and is posted on the ERO's Web site, 
available at: http://www.nerc.com.
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    9. Proposed footnote 12 as modified provides:

    An objective of the planning process is to minimize the 
likelihood and magnitude of Non-Consequential Load Loss following 
planning events. In limited circumstances, Non-Consequential Load 
Loss may be needed throughout the planning horizon to ensure that 
BES performance requirements are met. However, when Non-
Consequential Load Loss is utilized under footnote 12 within the 
Near-Term Transmission Planning Horizon to address BES performance 
requirements, such interruption is limited to circumstances where 
the Non-Consequential Load Loss meets the conditions shown in 
Attachment 1. In no case can the planned Non-Consequential Load Loss 
under footnote 12 exceed 75 MW for US registered entities. The 
amount of planned Non-Consequential Load Loss for a non-US 
Registered Entity should be implemented in a manner that is 
consistent with, or under the direction of, the applicable 
governmental authority or its agency in the non-US jurisdiction.

    10. New Attachment 1 to TPL-001-4, referenced in footnote 12, has 
three sections: (I) Stakeholder process, (II) information for inclusion 
in the stakeholder process, and (III) instances for which regulatory 
review of planned non-consequential load loss under footnote 12 is 
required. Section I describes five criteria that apply to the open and 
transparent stakeholder process that an entity must implement when it 
seeks to use footnote 12: (1) Meetings must be open to affected 
stakeholders including applicable regulatory authorities, (2) advance 
meeting notice requirements, (3) information regarding the intended 
purpose and scope of the planned non-consequential load loss must be 
made available to participants in accordance with section II of 
Attachment 1, (4) procedures for stakeholders to submit written 
questions and receive written responses, and (5) a dispute resolution 
process. Section I provides that an entity does not have to repeat the 
stakeholder process for a specific application of footnote 12 with 
respect to subsequent planning assessments unless conditions have 
materially changed for that specific application.\16\

[[Page 30806]]

NERC explains that this approach builds in flexibility and allows 
entities to use operating judgment in determining what constitutes a 
``material change'' (e.g., thereby allowing the entity to take into 
account regional and operating differences).\17\
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    \16\ NERC explains that this language was intentionally included 
to be consistent with Requirement R2.6 of the Version 4 TPL 
Reliability Standard, which allows for past studies to be used to 
support planning assessments if they meet certain conditions, 
including for steady state, short circuit, or stability analysis, 
when no material changes occur to the system. NERC Petition at 16.
    \17\ NERC Petition at 17. NERC adds that the proposed 
Requirement R8 of the Version 4 TPL Reliability Standard includes an 
additional safeguard to monitoring of planning assessments by 
requiring that relevant entities share planning assessments with 
adjacent planning coordinators, transmission planners, or other 
entities that demonstrate a reliability related need. NERC explains 
that Requirement R8 of the Version 4 Reliability Standard provides a 
system of checks and balances on an entity's planning assessments 
from neighboring entities in the overall transmission planning 
process of which the proposed footnote is one aspect.
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    11. Section II of Attachment 1 specifies eight categories of 
information that entities must provide to stakeholders, including 
estimated amount, frequency and duration of planned non-consequential 
load loss under footnote 12. An entity must also provide information on 
alternatives considered and future plans to alleviate the need for 
planned non-consequential load loss. NERC states that it developed this 
information to ensure that an entity adequately demonstrates to 
stakeholders why and how the entity selected the planned non-
consequential load loss alternative as the best planning choice, while 
allowing stakeholders to see all of the variables the entity used in 
selecting the load shed alternative.
    12. Section III of Attachment 1 describes the process for planned 
non-consequential load loss greater than 25 MW. Specifically, NERC 
states that planned non-consequential load loss between 25 MW and 75 
MW, or any planned non-consequential load loss at the 300 kV level or 
above would receive greater scrutiny by regulatory authorities and the 
ERO.\18\ Where these parameters apply, ``the Transmission Planner or 
Planning Coordinator must ensure that applicable regulatory authorities 
or governing bodies responsible for retail electric service issues do 
not object to the use of Non-Consequential Load Loss under footnote 
12.'' \19\ Further, ``[o]nce assurance has been received that the 
applicable regulatory authorities . . . responsible for retail electric 
service issues do not object . . . the Planning Coordinator or 
Transmission Planner must submit the information [in Section II of 
Attachment 1] to the ERO for a determination of whether there are any 
Adverse Reliability Impacts'' caused by the responsible entity's 
request to use footnote 12.\20\ According to NERC, this provision 
provides safeguards against arbitrary or inconsistent determinations, 
and also ``preserves, to the extent practicable, the role of Retail 
Regulators,'' while allowing ERO review for possible Adverse 
Reliability Impacts.\21\
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    \18\ NERC Petition at 17-19 and Exhibit F. NERC states that the 
300 kV voltage level is based on the previously submitted Extra High 
Voltage (``EHV'') level that had been proposed in Version 2. NERC 
also explains that it derived the 75 MW limit from information 
received in response to an industry data request to identify the 
specific instances of planned non-consequential load loss under 
footnote b and how frequently the load loss provision has been used. 
The maximum non-consequential load loss was approximately 75 MW, and 
the average was approximately 25 MW.
    \19\ NERC Petition, Exhibit A, proposed Reliability Standard 
TPL-001-4, Attachment I, section 3.
    \20\ NERC Petition, Exhibit A, proposed Reliability Standard 
TPL-001-4, Attachment I, section 3. NERC defines ``Adverse 
Reliability Impact'' as ``[t]he impact of an event that results in 
frequency-related instability; unplanned tripping of load or 
generation; or uncontrolled separation or cascading outages that 
affects a widespread area of the Interconnection.'' NERC Glossary at 
4.
    \21\ NERC Petition at 19.
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    13. NERC states that the combination of numerical limitations and 
other considerations, such as costs and alternatives, guards against a 
determination based solely on a quantitative threshold becoming an 
acceptable de facto interpretation of planned non-consequential load 
loss. According to NERC, the procedures in footnote 12 would enable 
acceptable, but limited, circumstances of planned non-consequential 
load loss after a thorough stakeholder review and approval and, in some 
cases, ERO review.
    14. NERC states that, because footnote 12 differs from footnote `b' 
included in the currently-effective TPL Reliability Standards, data do 
not yet exist on the frequency of instances of planned non-
consequential load loss under the new footnote 12. Consequently, NERC 
states that it will monitor the use of footnote 12 and will report the 
results of this monitoring after the first two years of the footnote's 
implementation.\22\
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    \22\ NERC Petition at 11.
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Implementation Schedule
    15. NERC requests that requirements R1 and R7 of the Version 4 
Reliability Standard as well as the definitions become effective, i.e., 
subject to compliance, on the first day of the first calendar quarter, 
twelve months after applicable regulatory approval. In addition, except 
as indicated below, NERC requests that Requirements R2 through R6 and 
Requirement R8 including Table 1--Steady State & Stability Performance 
Planning Events, Table 1--Steady State & Stability Performance Extreme 
Events, Table 1--Steady State & Stability Performance Footnotes 
(Planning Events & Extreme Events) and Attachment 1 become effective 
and subject to compliance on the first day of the first calendar 
quarter, 24 months after applicable regulatory approval.
    16. NERC also proposes that, for 84 calendar months beginning the 
first day of the first calendar quarter following applicable regulatory 
approval, corrective action plans applying to specific categories of 
contingencies and events identified in TPL-001-4, Table 1 are allowed 
to include non-consequential load loss and curtailment of firm 
transmission service (in accordance with Requirement R2, Part 2.7.3) 
that would not otherwise be permitted by the requirements of the 
Version 4 Reliability Standard. Further, NERC states that Requirement 
R2, Part 2.7.3 addresses situations that are beyond the control of the 
planner that prevent the implementation of a corrective action plan in 
the required timeframe.
    17. NERC also requests approval to retire currently-effective TPL 
Reliability Standards, TPL-001-0.1, TPL-002-0b, TPL-003-0a and TPL-004-
0, because their requirements are consolidated into the proposed TPL 
Reliability Standard TPL-001-4. In addition, NERC requests to withdraw 
two pending TPL Reliability Standards, TPL-005-0 and TPL-006-0.1, 
because NERC has transferred the requirements to sections 803 and 804 
of NERC's Rules of Procedure. NERC proposes to retire TPL Reliability 
Standards TPL-001-0.1, TPL-002-0b, TPL-003-0a, and TPL-004-0 on 
midnight of the day immediately prior to the effective date of TPL-001-
4. However, during the 24-month implementation period, all aspects of 
the currently-effective TPL Reliability Standards, TPL-001-0.1 through 
TPL-004-0 will remain in effect for compliance monitoring. NERC states 
that the 24 month period is to allow entities to develop, perform and/
or validate new or modified studies necessary to implement and meet 
Reliability Standard TPL-001-4. NERC explains that the specified 
effective dates allow sufficient time for proper assessment of the 
available options necessary to create a viable corrective action plan 
that is compliant with the new TPL Reliability Standard.

II. Discussion

    18. Pursuant to section 215(d) of the FPA, we propose to approve 
NERC's proposed Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 as just, reasonable, not 
unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. 
NERC's proposal

[[Page 30807]]

differs from the Commission directives on this matter.\23\ Nonetheless, 
we believe that NERC's proposal adequately addresses the underlying 
reliability concerns raised in Order No. 693, Order No. 762 and the 
NOPR in Docket No. RM12-1-000 and, thus, is an equally effective and 
efficient alternative to address the Commission's directives.
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    \23\ See Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ] 31,242 at P 1792; 
Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk Power System, 131 FERC 
] 61,231 at P 21.
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    19. In particular, we believe that proposed footnote 12 would 
improve reliability by providing a blend of specific quantitative and 
qualitative parameters for the permissible use of planned non-
consequential load loss to address bulk electric system performance 
issues. In addition, it appears that the stakeholder process is 
adequately defined and includes specific criteria and guidelines that a 
responsible entity must follow before it may use planned non-
consequential load loss to meet Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 
performance requirements for a single contingency event. Further, 
NERC's proposal provides reasonable safeguards, including an ERO review 
process, to protect against adverse reliability impacts that could 
otherwise result from planned non-consequential load loss.
    20. NERC states that it plans to monitor the use of footnote 12 and 
report the results of this monitoring after the first two years of 
implementation.\24\ Consistent with NERC's petition, we propose to 
direct that NERC submit a report on the use of footnote 12, due at the 
end of the first calendar quarter after the first two years of 
implementation of footnote 12 (as determined pursuant to NERC's 
implementation plan). The report should provide an analysis of the use 
of footnote 12, including but not limited to information on the 
duration, frequency and magnitude of planned non-consequential load 
loss, and typical (and if significant, atypical) scenarios where 
entities plan for non-consequential load loss. The report should also 
address the effectiveness of the stakeholder process and the use and 
effectiveness of the local regulatory review and NERC review.
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    \24\ NERC Petition at 11.
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    21. Further, we propose to approve NERC's implementation schedule. 
Pursuant to NERC's implementation schedule, footnote 12 and the 
stakeholder process (Attachment 1) are effective on the first day of 
the first quarter 24 months after applicable regulatory approval and 
that entities may use Requirement R2, Part 2.7.3 to include non-
consequential load loss in corrective action plans up to 84 months 
beginning the first day of the first quarter 84 months after applicable 
regulatory approval. In other words, entities that plan to shed non-
consequential load must follow the footnote 12 and Attachment 1 
procedures beginning on the first day of the first quarter 24 months 
after applicable regulatory approval. In addition, the 84 month period 
allows planners to include planned non-consequential load loss in their 
corrective action plans, if needed, for certain categories of 
contingencies to mitigate a system performance issue, e.g., if a plan 
calls for the construction of a transmission line. Within 84 months the 
corrective action plan for the transmission line, for example, is 
expected to be in service, but in the meantime the planner is permitted 
non-consequential load loss during the construction of the line.\25\ 
Under these circumstances, a planner must develop a valid corrective 
action plan that mitigates the system performance issue within the 
expected 84 months. We also propose to approve the retirement of the 
currently-effective TPL Reliability Standards as proposed by NERC.
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    \25\ Requirement R2, Part 2.7.3 addresses situations that are 
beyond the control of the planner that prevent the implementation of 
a corrective action plan in the required timeframe.
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    22. The Commission seeks comment on NERC's footnote 12 proposal. 
After receipt of comments, the Commission will issue a final rule that 
addresses the consolidated transmission planning standard, TPL-004-1. 
This Final Rule would address the modified footnote 12 (and related 
Attachment 1) and comments received in response to this Supplemental 
NOPR. In addition, the Final Rule would address other aspects of the 
consolidated TPL standard, including the matters raised in the April 
2012 NOPR in Docket RM12-1-000 (as modified by the Supplemental NOPR) 
and comments received in response to the April 2012 NOPR.

III. Information Collection Statement

    23. The following collection of information contained in this 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is subject to review by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) under section 3507(d) of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995.\26\ OMB's regulations require approval of 
certain information collection requirements imposed by agency 
rules.\27\ Upon approval of a collection(s) of information, OMB will 
assign an OMB control number and an expiration date. Respondents 
subject to the filing requirements of a 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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    \26\ 44 U.S.C. 3507(d) (2006).
    \27\ 5 CFR 1320.11 (2012).
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    24. We solicit comments on the Commission's need for this 
information, whether the information will have practical utility, the 
accuracy of the burden estimates, ways to enhance the quality, utility, 
and clarity of the information to be collected or retained, and any 
suggested methods for minimizing respondents' burden, including the use 
of automated information techniques. Specifically, the Commission asks 
that any revised burden or cost estimates submitted by commenters be 
supported by sufficient detail to understand how the estimates are 
generated.
    25. The Commission proposes to approve Reliability Standard TPL-
001-4 and retire four currently-effective TPL Reliability Standards, 
TPL-001 through TPL-004. In Order No. 693, the Commission directed NERC 
to develop modifications to TPL-001-0 through TPL-004-0 through NERC's 
Reliability Standards development process. Rather than creating 
entirely new TPL requirements, the revised Reliability Standard TPL-
001-4 consolidates and improves the overall quality of the currently-
effective TPL Reliability Standards governing transmission system 
planning of the bulk electric system. Thus, this proposed rulemaking 
does not impose entirely new burdens on the effected entities. For 
example, the currently-effective and revised TPL Reliability Standards 
both require that transmission planners and planning coordinators 
prepare annual planning assessments for near-term and long-term 
planning horizons and evaluate system performance for various 
categories of contingencies ranging from normal operations through 
extreme events.
    26. The proposed Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 includes several 
new obligations for transmission planners and planning coordinators. 
For example, they must identify joint responsibilities and conduct 
system modeling enhancements as required by Reliability Standard TPL-
001-4, Requirements R1 and R7. Proposed Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 
also includes the footnote 12 stakeholder process. Based on the results 
of NERC's data request (NERC Petition, Exhibit F), there have been 
approximately 80 instances of planned non-consequential load loss under 
the currently-effective TPL Reliability Standards. The vast majority of 
these indicate a plan to

[[Page 30808]]

mitigate the planned non-consequential load loss within a 5 year 
period, and approximately 75 percent of the approximately 80 instances 
have planned non-consequential load loss less than 25 MW. The 
Commission does not expect the instances of planned non-consequential 
load loss to materially change from the existing number. Therefore, the 
Commission estimates 16 annual uses (80 instances divided by a 5 year 
period) of Attachment 1 with 12 of those instances (approximately 75 
percent of the estimated annual total) using sections I and II of 
Attachment 1 and 4 instances using sections I, II and III of Attachment 
1 of Reliability Standard TPL-001-4.
    27. Public Reporting Burden: The burden and cost estimates below 
are based on the increase in the reporting and recordkeeping burden 
imposed by the proposed Reliability Standards. Our estimates are based 
on the NERC Compliance Registry as of February 28, 2013, which indicate 
that NERC has registered 183 transmission planners and planning 
coordinators.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                     Average number of
      Improved requirement \28\                 Year               Number and type of        Number of annual       paperwork hours per    Total burden
                                                                      entity \29\          responses per entity          response              hours
                                                                (1)....................  (2)....................  (3)...................     (1)*(2)*(3)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Identification of Joint               Year 1..................  183 Transmission         1 response.............  9 (5 engineer hours              1,647
 Responsibilities and System                                     Planners and Planning                             and 4 record keeping
 Modeling Enhancements \30\.                                     Coordinators.                                     hours).
                                      Year 2 and Year 3.......  183 Transmission         1 response.............  5 (3 engineer hours                915
                                                                 Planners and Planning                             and 2 record keeping
                                                                 Coordinators.                                     hours).
New Assessments, Simulations,         Year 2..................  183 Transmission         1 response.............  145 (84 engineer                26,535
 Studies, Modeling Enhancements and                              Planners and Planning                             hours, 61 record
 associate Documentation \31\.                                   Coordinators.                                     keeping hours).
                                      Year 3..................  183 Transmission         1 response.............  84 (45 engineer hours,          15,372
                                                                 Planners and Planning                             39 record keeping
                                                                 Coordinators.                                     hours).
Attachment 1 stakeholder process....  Year 3..................  1 Transmission Planner   12 responses to          63 (40 engineer hours,             756
                                                                 and Planning             Attachment 1, sections   17 record keeping
                                                                 Coordinator.             I and II.                hours, 6 legal hours).
                                      Year 3..................  1 Transmission Planner   4 responses to           68 (40 engineer hours,             272
                                                                 and Planning             Attachment 1, Sections   20 record keeping
                                                                 Coordinator.             I, II, and III.          hours, 8 legal hours).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Costs to Comply with Paperwork Requirements:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ Each requirement identifies a reliability improvement by 
proposed Reliability Standard TPL-001-4.
    \29\ NERC registered transmission planners and planning 
coordinators responsible for the improved requirement. Further, if a 
single entity is registered as both a transmission planner and 
planning coordinator, that entity is counted as one unique entity.
    \30\ The Commission estimates a reduction in burden hours from 
year 1 to year 2 because year 1 represents a portion of one-time 
tasks not repeated in subsequent years.
    \31\ The Commission estimates a reduction in burden hours from 
year 2 to year 3 because year 2 represents a portion of one-time 
tasks not repeated in subsequent years.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Year 1: $77,592.
     Year 2: $1,312,659.
     Year 3 and ongoing: $820,149.
    28. Year 1 costs include the implementation of those improved 
requirements that become effective on the first day of the first 
calendar quarter, 12 months after applicable regulatory approval, which 
include requirements such as coordination between entities and 
incremental system modeling enhancements. Year 2 costs include a 
portion of year 1 reoccurring costs plus the implementation of the 
remaining improved requirements that become effective on the first day 
of the first calendar quarter, 24 months after applicable regulatory 
approval, which include requirements such as sensitivity studies for 
steady state and stability analysis, implementation of a spare 
equipment strategy, short circuit studies, an expansion of 
contingencies and extreme events, and all associated system modeling 
enhancements and documentation. Year 3 costs include a portion of year 
2 reoccurring costs plus an estimated cost for Attachment 1 stakeholder 
process, if needed.
    29. For the burden categories above, the loaded (salary plus 
benefits) costs are: $60/hour for an engineer; $31/hour for 
recordkeeping; and $128/hour for legal.\32\ The estimated breakdown of 
annual cost is as follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ Labor rates from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (http://bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm). Loaded costs are BLS rates 
divided by 0.703 and rounded to the nearest dollar (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Year 1
    [cir] Identification of Joint Responsibilities and System Modeling 
Enhancements: 183 entities * [(5 hours/response * $60/hour) + (4 hours/
response * $31/hour)] = $77,592.
 Year 2
    [cir] Identification of Joint Responsibilities and System Modeling 
Enhancements: 183 entities * [(3 hours/response * $60/hour) +
    [cir] (2 hours/response * $31/hour)] = $44,286.
    [cir] New Assessments, Simulations, Studies, Modeling Enhancements 
and associated Documentation: 183 entities * [(84 hours/response * $60/
hour) + (61 hours/response * $31/hour)] = $1,268,373.
 Year 3
    [cir] Identification of Joint Responsibilities and System Modeling 
Enhancements: 183 entities * [(3 hours/response * $60/hour) +
    [cir] (2 hours/response * $31/hour)] = $44,286.
    [cir] New Assessments, Simulations, Studies, Modeling Enhancements 
and associated Documentation: 183 entities * [(45 hours/response * $60/
hour) + (39 hours/response *

[[Page 30809]]

$31/hour)] = $715,347.
    [cir] Implementation of footnote 12 and the stakeholder process: 
{12 responses * [(40 hours/response * $60/hour) + (17 hours/response * 
$31/hour) + (6 hours/response * $128/hour)]{time}  + {4 responses * 
[(40 hours/response * $60/hr) + (20 hours/response * $31/hour) + (8 
hours/response * $128/hour)]{time}  = $60,516.

    The Commission seeks comment on the costs to comply with the 
paperwork requirements.
    Title: FERC-725A, Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk 
Power System
    Action: Proposed Collection of Information
    OMB Control No: 1902-0244
    Respondents: Business or other for profit, and not for profit 
institutions.
    Frequency of Responses: Annually and one-time.
    Necessity of the Information: The proposed Reliability Standard 
TPL-001-4, if adopted, would implement the Congressional mandate of the 
Energy Policy Act of 2005 to develop mandatory and enforceable 
Reliability Standards to better ensure the reliability of the nation's 
Bulk-Power System. Specifically, the proposal would ensure that 
planning coordinators and transmission planners establish transmission 
system planning performance requirements within the planning horizon to 
develop a bulk electric system that will operate reliability and meet 
specified performance requirements over a broad spectrum of system 
conditions to meet present and future system needs.
    Internal review: The Commission has reviewed the revised 
Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 and made a determination that its action 
is necessary to implement section 215 of the FPA. The Commission has 
assured itself, by means of its internal review, that there is 
specific, objective support for the burden estimates associated with 
the information requirements.
    30. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting 
requirements by contacting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 
Office of the Executive Director, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 
20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, email: DataClearance@ferc.gov, phone: 
(202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873].
    31. Comments concerning the information collections proposed in 
this NOPR and the associated burden estimates, should be sent to the 
Commission in this docket and may also be sent to the Office of 
Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs 
[Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]. 
For security reasons, comments should be sent by email to OMB at the 
following email address: oira_submission@omb.eop.gov. Please reference 
OMB Control Number 1902-0244 and the docket numbers of this Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking (Docket Nos. RM12-1-000 and RM13-9-000) in your 
submission.

IV. Environmental Analysis

    32. 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.\33\ 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.\34\ The actions proposed 
herein fall within this categorical exclusion in the Commission's 
regulations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969, Order No. 486, FERC Stats. & Regs. ] 30,783 (1987).
    \34\ 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    33. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) \35\ generally 
requires a description and analysis of Proposed Rules that will have 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
As discussed above, proposed Reliability Standard TPL-001-4 would apply 
to 183 transmission planners and planning coordinators identified in 
the NERC Compliance Registry. Comparison of the NERC Compliance 
Registry with data submitted to the Energy Information Administration 
on Form EIA-861 indicates that, of the 183 registered transmission 
planners and planning coordinators registered by NERC, 41 may qualify 
as small entities.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ 5 U.S.C. 601-12.
    \36\ The RFA definition of ``small entity'' refers to the 
definition provided in the Small Business Act (SBA), which defines a 
``small business concern'' as a business that is independently owned 
and operated and that is not dominant in its field of operation. See 
15 U.S.C. 632 (2006). According to the Small Business 
Administration, an electric utility is defined as ``small'' if, 
including its affiliates, it is primarily engaged in the generation, 
transmission, and/or distribution of electric energy for sale and 
its total electric output for the preceding fiscal year did not 
exceed 4 million megawatt hours.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    34. The Commission estimates that, on average, each of the 41 small 
entities affected will have an estimated cost of $1,324 in Year 1, 
$16,953 in Year 2 and $11,471 in Year 3 (without Attachment 1). In 
addition, based on the results of NERC's data request approximately 10 
percent of all registered transmission planners and planning 
coordinators used planned non-consequential load loss under the 
currently-effective TPL Standards. The Commission estimates that 
approximately 4 of the 41 small entities would use the stakeholder 
process set forth in Attachment 1. The total estimated cost per 
response for each of these 4 small entities in Year 3 is approximately 
$19,500 if Attachment 1, sections I and II are used, or $20,000 if 
Attachment 1, sections I, II and III are used. These figures are based 
on information collection costs plus additional costs for compliance.
    35. The Commission does not consider this to be a significant 
economic impact for small entities because it should not represent a 
significant percentage of the operating budget. Accordingly, the 
Commission certifies that this Proposed Rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The Commission seeks comment on this certification.

VI. Comment Procedures

    36. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on 
the matters and issues proposed in this notice to be adopted, including 
any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish 
to discuss. Comments are due June 24, 2013. Comments must refer to 
Docket Nos. RM12-1-000 and RM13-9-000, and must include the commenter's 
name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address 
in their comments.
    37. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically 
via the eFiling link on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing 
formats. Documents created electronically using word processing 
software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format 
and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not 
need to make a paper filing.
    38. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically 
must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., 
Washington DC, 20426.
    39. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files 
and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the 
Document

[[Page 30810]]

Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not 
required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

VII. Document Availability

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

    By direction of the Commission. Commissioner Norris is 
concurring with a separate statement attached.
Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,
Deputy Secretary.
(Issued May 16, 2013)
Norris, Commissioner, concurring:

    Ensuring the reliability of the electric grid is one of the 
essential jobs we have here at the Commission. There also must be a 
balance between protecting the reliability and security of the electric 
grid and recognizing the real world costs that consumers and local 
communities will have to bear with each reliability standard that NERC 
proposes and the Commission approves. That balance may be difficult to 
achieve, but I view it as part of our statutory responsibility to 
ensure that mandatory reliability standards are ``just, reasonable, not 
unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest.'' 
\37\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ See 16 U.S.C. 824o(d)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I agreed with the Commission's April 19, 2012 decision to remand 
NERC's proposed Transmission Planning Reliability Standard footnote `b' 
(now renamed footnote 12) because it was vague, potentially 
unenforceable, and lacked adequate safeguards to determine when 
planning to shed firm load would be permitted. However, I wrote 
separately because the order failed to recognize that this issue is 
both an economic and reliability issue, and therefore must balance 
those two concerns.
    NERC has submitted another change to its proposed reliability 
standard, which again modifies the planned consequential load loss 
provision. I am very encouraged by NERC's latest submittal and the 
Commission's proposal to accept it. NERC's proposal goes a long way 
towards empowering local communities to consider the economic tradeoffs 
between incurring costs to avoid shedding firm load versus planning to 
shed firm load, while still ensuring that the decision-making process 
is more open and transparent and building in a safeguard for NERC to 
review decisions for possible adverse reliability impacts. While 
consumers and local communities should be able to make decisions about 
an acceptable level of local reliability versus the economic tradeoffs 
for achieving that level of reliability, I agree that there must be a 
check to ensure that those decisions do not affect their neighbors and 
the bulk electric system. I believe this proposal is a step in the 
right direction, but will carefully consider any comments that entities 
file regarding the proposed modification.
    For these reasons, I respectfully concur.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
John R. Norris,

Commissioner.
[FR Doc. 2013-12139 Filed 5-22-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P