Power & Pipes

FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) filed its 2022 NERC Standards Report, Status and Timetable for Addressing Regulatory Directives summarizing the progress made and plans for addressing the reliability standard-related directives issued by applicable governmental authorities. NERC reported that since March 29, 2021, the date of NERC’s last annual report, it filed petitions with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) addressing four reliability standards-related directives.

Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP)-Related Directives Addressed since NERC’s 2021 Standards Report

  • The electric reliability organization enterprise, which includes NERC and six Regional Entities, conducted a study of approximately 200 registered entities with assets containing low impact BES Cyber Systems regarding: (1) what electronic access controls entities chose to implement and under what circumstances at these assets, (2) whether the electronic access controls adopted by entities provide adequate security, and (3) other relevant information found by the ERO Enterprise as a result of the study. NERC filed the CIP-003-8 Electronic Access Controls Study Report on June 30, 2021, in Docket No. RM17-11-000.
  • NERC filed an Informational Filing Regarding Virtualization and Cloud Computing Services on December 17, 2021, in Docket No. RM20-8-000 that evaluates potential modifications to the CIP reliability standards to facilitate expanded use of the cloud.
  • On March 21, 2022, in Docket No. RM18-2-000, NERC filed its Annual Report on Cyber Security Incidents that includes an aggregated summary of the cyber security incidents involving registered entities.

NERC also reported that there are currently seven outstanding directives related to reliability standards or issued in orders approving reliability standards. NERC stated it is addressing one directive through standards development projects and another directive through quarterly reporting of development project status. For the remaining directives, which relate to data gathering, registration, or the performance of research or studies, NERC stated it will address the directives through its 2022-2024 Reliability Standards Development Plan (RSDP), which was filed with NERC on November 30, 2021. NERC establishes priorities related to reliability standards under its annual RSDP.