Following well-publicized threats to the physical security of electric system assets, on March 7, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) directed the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to develop mandatory Reliability Standards to protect against physical risks to “critical” electric facilities. Due in 90 days, the Reliability Standards must provide the following:
- A methodology for identifying the critical facilities to be protected
- A requirement to identify the critical facilities’ vulnerabilities
- A requirement that facility owners and operators develop and implement a plan to protect against those vulnerabilities
This order will initiate a NERC Reliability Standards development project addressing comprehensive physical security requirements that must also produce results in a highly compressed timeframe.