Regulatory Updates

ERO Enterprise Further Extends Pandemic Compliance Guidance

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On October 27, 2020, the ERO Enterprise extended guidance originally issued in May through the first quarter of 2021. This guidance and extension for regulatory discretion and onsite compliance activities were issued in response to the evolving nature of the coronavirus pandemic. Regulatory discretion will continue to be available for COVID-19 potential noncompliance when COVID-19 contributes materially or completely to the root cause of the issue. Moreover, this extension allows the continuation of regulatory relief by expanding the Self-Logging Program allowing all registered entities to self-log instances of potential non-compliance with minimal or moderate risk related to their coronavirus response. The extension also includes the deferment of on-site activities, including on-site audits, through the end of the first quarter of 2021, unless there is a need due to a high risk determination.

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October 1, 2020 Newly Effective Reliability Standards

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As of October 1, 2020, the following standards become effective:
CIP-005-6 – Cyber Security – Electronic Security Perimeter(s)
CIP-010-3 – Cyber Security – Configuration Change Management and Vulnerability Assessments
CIP-013-1 – Cyber Security – Supply Chain Risk Management
TPL-007-4 – Transmission System Planned Performance for Geomagnetic Disturbance Events (Requirements R1, R2, R5, 5.1-5.2, R9, 9.1-9.2)

All Reliability Standards, along with their status, purpose, implementation plans, relevant FERC Orders, and Reliability Standard Audit Worksheets, can be accessed at NERC’s One-Stop Shop.

For more information on the NERC Reliability Standards and their potential applicability and impact, please contact Kristen Connolly McCullough, Lisa Gast, or Sean Neal.

FERC and NERC Staff Publish Cyber Response Report

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On September 14, 2020, FERC, NERC, and NERC Regional Entities staff (collectively, “joint staff”) published a Cyber Planning for Response and Recovery Study (CYPRES) Report that discusses utility approaches to protecting their networks against cyber security incidents by way of their incident response and recovery plans. Subject matter experts from the joint staff relied upon the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-61 Rev.2, Computer Security Incident Handling Guide Recommendations, as a reference tool for how to respond to incidents effectively.

After a series of site visits and interviews of employees at electric utilities of various sizes and bulk electric system responsibilities, along with varying cyber infrastructure designs, the joint staff made some key observations. While the CYPRES Report confirms there is no “one size fits all” approach to preparing and responding to cyber incidents, it does illuminate common areas where entities can effectively focus their response efforts.

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FERC Issues Final Rule on DER Aggregation and Participation in Organized Markets

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) announced the issuance of a Final Rule, Order No. 2222, which it describes as “historic” in enabling distributed energy resource (“DER”) aggregators to compete in all regional organized wholesale electric markets.  In doing so, FERC makes express reference to the recent appellate ruling on energy storage participation, Order 841, and the court’s view of an expansive federal role over activity that may interact with wholesale electric markets.

As FERC Staff observes, “DERs tend to be too small to meet the minimum size requirements to participate in the RTO/ISO markets on a stand-alone basis, and may be unable to meet certain qualification and performance requirements because of the operational constraints they may have as small resources.”

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PG&E Bankruptcy Timeline

Below, please find DWGP's timeline tracking Docket Numbers 19-30088 and 19-30089 at the United States Bankruptcy Court of Northern District of California:  

  • 6/20/20: Judge Dennis Montali issued an Order Confirming Debtors’ And Shareholder Proponents’ Joint Chapter 11 Plan Of Reorganization Dated June 19, 2020
  • 6/17/20: Judge Dennis Montali issued a Memorandum Decision – Confirmation Of Debtors’ And Shareholder Proponents’ Joint Chapter 11 Plan Of Reorganization
  • 5/28/20:  Decision Approving Reorganization Plan, California Public Utilities Commission, D.20-05-053
  • 1/30/2020: Judge Dennis Montali issued Order Authorizing PG&E to settle claims with Tubbs Fire Preference Claimants 

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