On June 7, 2018, FERC issued Order 847, a final rule for “Coordination of Protection Systems for Performance During Faults and Specific Training for Personnel Reliability Standards.” The final rule approved Reliability Standards PRC-027-1 (Coordination of Protection Systems for Performance During Faults), PER-006-1 (Specific Training for Personnel) and included the retirement of currently effective Reliability Standard PRC-001-1.1.

In the docket, NERC indicated that Reliability Standard PRC-027-1 “provides a clear set of Requirements that obligate entities to …”

  • Implement a process for establishing and coordinating new or revised protection system settings, and
  • Periodically study protection system settings that could be affected by incremental changes in fault current to ensure the protection systems continue to operate in their intended sequence.

Reliability Standard PRC-001-1.1 required applicable entities to have familiarity with “the purpose and limitations of Protection System schemes applied in its area,” along with notification and generalized coordination requirements. While PRC-027-1 adds specificity, requiring entities to establish a process for “developing new and revised Protection System settings for BES Elements, such that the Protection Systems operate in the intended sequence during Faults,” such a process must address:

  • A review and update of short-circuit model data
  • A review of Protection System settings
  • Applicable provisions for sharing protection settings with neighbors and assessing coordination issues

Under PRC-027-1, entities are required to perform a protection system coordination study at a prescribed maximum interval, a fault current assessment, and a subsequent protection system coordination study if the fault current deviation is 15 percent or greater.

Reliability Standard PER-006-1 addresses generator operator training to “ensure that personnel are trained on specific topics essential to reliability to perform or support real-time operations of the Bulk Electric System.” PER-006-1 covers dispatch personnel at centrally located dispatch centers and plant personnel responsible for real-time control of a generator.

FERC also approved new and revised definitions to the NERC Glossary. The terms are “protection system coordination study,” “operational planning analysis,” and “real-time assessment.” The commission also approved the retirement of PRC-001-1.1 (ii). The complete Order 847 can be referenced here.

James Crawford III is senior consultant and project manager at Burns & McDonnell for the Governance, Risk, Cybersecurity and Compliance Group. Over a career spanning almost three decades, James has specialized in helping utility clients improve governance and mitigate risk, with a focus on filing and compliance requirements set by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.