SERC determined that Broad River was in violation of TOP-003-3 R5 because it failed to report unit unavailability in accordance with its BA and Transmission Operator’s (TOP) data specifications requirements. The plant manager knowingly allowed inaccurate information regarding the availability of unit 5 to be reported in the Daily Executive Status Report and provided incorrect information to the BA when unit 5 actually became unavailable. SERC later determined that the violation extended back to the enforceable period of TOP-002-2.1b R3, because Broad River failed to consistently coordinate its current-day and next-day operations with its BA/Transmission Service Provider (TSP) by failing to provide proper notification when a unit was unavailable. Furthermore, SERC determined that there was no TOP-002/TOP-003 compliance procedure, and operators were not aware of a documented procedure to follow when a unit failed. SERC confirmed that there were a total of 112 instances, 60 of which occurred from January 7, 2016, through March 27, 2017, when TOP-002-2.1b R3 was mandatory and enforceable, and the remaining 52 instances occurred when TOP-003-3 R5 was mandatory and enforceable. The cause of this violation was a complete programmatic failure that stemmed from a widespread problem with Broad River’s compliance program, including the presence of vertical organizational silos in the form of lack of or broken communication between the third-party plant and asset manager and senior management, and between plant management and those responsible for compliance.
Broad River is an entity with five gas turbine generators that produce 850 MW dual-fuel, located in Gaffney, South Carolina.
From October 19, 2016, to January 1, 2020, IHI Power Services Corporation provided asset management, operations, and maintenance services to Broad River via a contractual agreement. Tateswood Energy Company, LLC, executed an Asset Management Agreement with Broad River, which has been in effect as of December 1, 2019. Plant Operations and Maintenance services are currently provided by NAES Corporation via a contractual agreement. Broad River operated under two long-term tolling agreements (Purchase Power Agreements (PPAs)) with a public utility and Balancing Authority (BA). Pursuant to the terms of the PPAs, Broad River was paid by the Balancing Authority (BA) partially based on unit availability.
Basis for Penalty
According to the Settlement Agreement, SERC has assessed a penalty of $435,000, and associated non-monetary sanctions. Specifically, SERC imposed a non-monetary sanction requiring Broad River’s compliance department to provide Broad River senior management and SERC with quarterly reports concerning compliance with TOP-003-4 R5 until SERC has received four consecutive quarterly reports from Broad River and determines that such reporting is no longer necessary for the referenced violation. In reaching this determination, SERC considered the following factors:
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