NERC's Reliability Issues Steering Committee (RISC) Agenda Package has been posted. This "virtual" meeting is to be conducted March 22, 2022, between 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (Eastern). The Reliability Issues Steering Committee (RISC) is an advisory committee that reports directly to the NERC Board of Trustees and triages and provides front-end, high-level leadership and accountability for nominated issues of strategic importance to bulk power system reliability. The RISC assists the Board, NERC standing committees, NERC staff, regulators, Regional Entities, and industry stakeholders in establishing a common understanding of the scope, priority, and goals for the development of solutions to address these issues. In doing so, the RISC provides a framework for steering, developing, formalizing, and organizing recommendations to help NERC and industry effectively focus their resources on the critical issues needed to best improve the reliability of the bulk power system. Benefits of the RISC include improved efficiency of the NERC standards program. In some cases that includes recommending reliability solutions other than the development of new or revised Reliability Standards and offering high-level stakeholder leadership engagement and input on issues that enter the standards process.
Items of Interest from Meeting Minutes of 11/12/2021 RISC Meeting
2021 GridSecCon Summary
Manny Cancel, senior vice president and chief executive officer, E-ISAC summarized the recent 2021 GridSecCon noting it was the 10th annual grid security conference and the first ever in a completely virtual environment. Mr. Cancel stated this year’s conference was co-hosted by NERC, the E-ISAC, and Texas RE as part of the ERO Enterprise’s collaborative efforts to support industry in security the North American bulk power system through information sharing, education, and collaboration. He noted the bad actors are not missing a beat as we have witnessed multiple headline-grabbing compromises from ransomware to major hacks and physical breaches and GridSecCon allows the ability to come together to discuss threats and solutions to help enhance security efforts.
Extreme Weather Preparedness Findings of FERC/ERO Enterprise Joint Inquiry into 2021 Cold Weather Operations
Steve Noess and Kiel Lyons presented a summary on the findings of the FERC/ERO Enterprise joint inquiry into 2021 cold weather operations in Texas and the South Central United States. The report describes the severe cold weather event that occurred between February 8 and 20, 2021 and how it impacted the reliability of the bulk electric system in Texas and the South Central United States. Cold Weather Activities Soo Jin Kim presented a summary of the activities associated with the Level 2 NERC Alert that was issued on August 18, 2021, highlighting the Alert targeted Reliability Coordinators, Balancing Authorities, Transmission Operators, and Generator Owners, consisted of 5 recommendations, and provided specific recommended actions that NERC registered entities should consider in response to a particular issue. Ms. Kim then summarized the Alert takeaways. John Moura presented a preview of the 2021-2022 Winter Reliability Assessment (WRA) highlighting the WRA’s key findings, including NERC Level 2 Alert Key takeaway and concerns, and a review of the fuel availability noting natural gas storage is below average levels for the upcoming winter and generator owners should give special attention to supply chains, but there are no specific impacts identified. Howard Gugel provided an update on the status of the Cold Weather Standards.
Status on Work Associated with the Framework to Address Known and Emerging Reliability and Security Risks
Ms. Kim and Mr. Richard Burt, MRO presented on the prioritization of reliability, resilience, and security risks. Ms. Kim and Mr. Burt noted the purpose of the risk framework is to have a consistent ERO-wide approach to identifying, prioritizing, and addressing known and emerging reliability and security risks, utilizing six steps: Risk identification and validation; Risk prioritization; Remediation mitigation identification and evaluation; Mitigation deployment; Measurement of success; and Monitoring residual risk. At the conclusion of the presentation, Mr. Burt stated the ERO is seeking RISC volunteers to assist with the formal process development, documentation, and socialization of this process. Ms. Kim provided an update on the Risk Registry noting future versions of the Risk Registry will be used as project/resource management tool and will include a consistent risk prioritization method that will be periodically reviewed with the RISC. Stephen Crutchfield presented an update on the recently formed Reliability and Security Technical Committee (RSTC) Tiger Team stating the team was formed to identify current RSTC subgroup work plan items that address risks identified in the 2021 ERO Reliability Risk Priorities Report; develop draft risk mitigation activities and assignments for RSTC subgroups; and develop proposed subgroup work plan items, if appropriate, for full RSTC review and input in December 2021.
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