80 FR 57704 - Disturbance Monitoring and Reporting Requirements Reliability Standard

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 186 (September 25, 2015)

Page Range57704-57709
FR Document2015-24278

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 (Disturbance Monitoring and Reporting Requirements) submitted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. The purpose of Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 is to have adequate data available to facilitate analysis of bulk electric system disturbances.

Federal Register, Volume 80 Issue 186 (Friday, September 25, 2015)
[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 186 (Friday, September 25, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57704-57709]
From the Federal Register Online  [www.thefederalregister.org]
[FR Doc No: 2015-24278]



[[Page 57704]]

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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

18 CFR Part 40

[Docket No. RM15-4-000; Order No. 814]


Disturbance Monitoring and Reporting Requirements Reliability 
Standard

AGENCY: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves Reliability 
Standard PRC-002-2 (Disturbance Monitoring and Reporting Requirements) 
submitted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. The 
purpose of Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 is to have adequate data 
available to facilitate analysis of bulk electric system disturbances.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule will become effective November 24, 
2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Juan R. Villar (Technical Information), Office of Electric Reliability, 
Division of Reliability Standards and Security, Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, 
Telephone: (202) 536-2930, [email protected].
Alan Rukin (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 
20426, Telephone: (202) 502-8502, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Order No. 814

Final Rule

(Issued September 17, 2015)
    1. Pursuant to section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), the 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) approves Reliability 
Standard PRC-002-2 (Disturbance Monitoring and Reporting 
Requirements).\1\ The North American Electric Reliability Corporation 
(NERC), the Commission-certified Electric Reliability Organization 
(ERO), submitted Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 for approval. The 
purpose of Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 is to have adequate data 
available to facilitate analysis of bulk electric system disturbances. 
In addition, the Commission approves the associated violation risk 
factors and violation severity levels, implementation plan, and 
effective date proposed by NERC. The Commission also approves the 
retirement of Reliability Standard PRC-018-1 due to its consolidation 
with Reliability Standard PRC-002-2.
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    \1\ 16 U.S.C. 824o.
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I. Background

A. Section 215 and Mandatory Reliability Standards

    2. Section 215 of the FPA requires a Commission-certified ERO to 
develop mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards, subject to 
Commission review and approval.\2\ Once approved, the Reliability 
Standards may be enforced by the ERO subject to Commission oversight or 
by the Commission independently.\3\ In 2006, the Commission certified 
NERC as the ERO pursuant to FPA section 215.\4\
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    \2\ Id. 824o(c), (d).
    \3\ Id. 824o(e).
    \4\ North American Electric Reliability Corp., 116 FERC ] 61,062 
(ERO Certification Order), order on reh'g and compliance, 117 FERC ] 
61,126 (2006), order on compliance, 118 FERC ] 61,190, order on 
reh'g, 119 FERC ] 61,046 (2007), rev. denied sub nom. Alcoa Inc. v. 
FERC, 564 F.3d 1342 (D.C. Cir. 2009).
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B. Order No. 693

    3. On March 16, 2007, the Commission issued Order No. 693, 
approving 83 of the 107 Reliability Standards filed by NERC, including 
Reliability Standard PRC-018-1.\5\ Reliability Standard PRC-018-1 
requires the installation of disturbance monitoring equipment and the 
reporting of disturbance data in accordance with comprehensive 
requirements.\6\
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    \5\ Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System, 
Order No. 693, FERC Stats. and Regs. ] 31,242, order on reh'g, Order 
No. 693-A, 120 FERC ] 61,053 (2007).
    \6\ Id. PP 1550-1551.
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    4. In Order No. 693, the Commission determined that proposed 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-1 was a ``fill-in-the-blank'' Reliability 
Standard because it required Regional Reliability Organizations to 
establish requirements for installation of disturbance monitoring 
equipment and report disturbance data to facilitate analyses of events 
and verify system models.\7\ The Commission stated that it would not 
approve or remand proposed Reliability Standard PRC-002-1 until NERC 
submitted additional necessary information to the Commission.\8\
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    \7\ Id. P 1451.
    \8\ Id. P 1456.
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C. NERC Petition and Reliability Standard PRC-002-2

    5. On December 15, 2014, NERC submitted a petition seeking 
Commission approval of proposed Reliability Standard PRC-002-2.\9\ NERC 
contended that Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 is just, reasonable, not 
unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. NERC 
explained that Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 consolidates the 
requirements of unapproved Reliability Standard PRC-002-1 and 
currently-effective Reliability Standard PRC-018-1.\10\
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    \9\ Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 is not attached to this final 
rule. The Reliability Standard is available on the Commission's 
eLibrary document retrieval system in Docket No. RM15-4-00 and is 
posted on NERC's Web site, available at http://www.nerc.com.
    \10\ NERC Petition at 15.
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    6. NERC stated that it is important to monitor and analyze 
disturbances to plan and operate the Bulk-Power System to avoid 
instability, separation and cascading failures.\11\ NERC maintained 
that Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 improves reliability by providing 
personnel with necessary data to enable more effective post event 
analysis, which can also be used to verify system models.\12\ Moreover, 
NERC explained that the Reliability Standard ``focuses on ensuring that 
the requisite data is captured and the Requirements constitute a 
results[hyphen]based approach to capturing data.''\13\
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    \11\ Id. at 13. NERC defines a ``Disturbance'' as: ``(1) an 
unplanned event that produces an abnormal system condition; (2) any 
perturbation to the electric system; [or] (3) the unexpected change 
in [area control error] that is caused by the sudden failure of 
generation or interruption of load.'' Id. (quoting Glossary of Terms 
Used in NERC Reliability Standards at 30).
    \12\ Id. at 15.
    \13\ Id. at 14-15.
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    7. NERC stated that, in the United States, Reliability Standard 
PRC-002-2 will apply to planning coordinators in the Eastern 
Interconnection, planning coordinators or the reliability coordinator 
in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Interconnection, 
and the reliability coordinator in the Western Interconnection, which 
are collectively referred to as ``Responsible Entities.'' Reliability 
Standard PRC-002-2 will also apply to transmission owners and 
generation owners.
    8. NERC stated that Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 includes 12 
requirements. Requirement R1 requires transmission owners: (1) To 
identify bulk electric system buses, e.g., substations, for which 
sequence of events recording and fault record data is required; (2) to 
notify other owners of bulk electric system elements connected to those 
particular bulk electric system buses where sequence of events 
recording and fault record data will be necessary; and (3) to re-
evaluate all bulk

[[Page 57705]]

electric system buses every five years. Requirement R2 requires 
transmission owners and generation owners to collect sequence of events 
data. Requirement R3 and Requirement R4 require transmission owners and 
generation owners to collect fault recording data and parameters of 
that data. Requirement R5 through Requirement R9 lay out thresholds 
where dynamic disturbance recording data are required and provide more 
specifics on its collection.\14\ Requirement R10 requires transmission 
owners and generation owners to time synchronize the recordings. 
According to NERC, Requirement R10 provides the synchronization 
requirements in response to Recommendation No. 28 from the final report 
on the August 2003 blackout issued by the U.S.-Canada Power System 
Outage Task Force (Blackout Report).\15\ Requirement R11 requires 
transmission owners and generation owners to provide sequence of events 
recording, fault recording and dynamic disturbance recording data upon 
request and establishes specific guidelines to ensure that data can be 
used in the analysis of events. Requirement R12 requires transmission 
owners and generation owners to restore the recording capability of the 
equipment used to record disturbances, if this capability is 
interrupted.
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    \14\ NERC Petition, Ex. A (Proposed Reliability Standard PRC-
002-2), Attachment 1, Step 8 states:
    [Sequence of events recordings] and [fault recording] data is 
required at additional [bulk electric system] buses on the list 
determined in Step 6. The aggregate of the number of [bulk electric 
system] buses determined in Step 7 and this Step will be at least 20 
percent of the [bulk electric system] buses determined in Step 6.
    The additional [bulk electric system] buses are selected, at the 
[t]ransmission [o]wner's discretion, to provide maximum wide-area 
coverage for [Sequence of events recordings] and [fault recording] 
data. The following [bulk electric system] bus locations are 
recommended:
    Electrically distant buses or electrically distant from other 
[disturbance monitoring equipment] devices.
    Voltage sensitive areas.
    Cohesive load and generation zones.
    [Bulk electric system] buses with a relatively high number of 
incident [t]ransmission circuits.
    [Bulk electric system] buses with reactive power devices.
    Major [f]acilities interconnecting outside the [t]ransmission 
[o]wner's area.
    \15\ NERC Petition at 35-36 (quoting U.S.-Canada Power System 
Outage Task Force, Final Report on the August 14, 2003 Blackout in 
the United States and Canada: Causes and Recommendations at 162 
(Apr. 2004), available at http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/oeprod/DocumentsandMedia/BlackoutFinal-Web.pdf).
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    9. NERC proposed an implementation plan that includes an effective 
date for Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 that is the first day of the 
first calendar quarter that is six months after the date that the 
Commission approves the Reliability Standard. Concurrent with the 
effective date, the implementation plan calls for the retirement of 
currently-effective Reliability Standard PRC-018-1 and ``pending'' 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-1.\16\
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    \16\ Id. at Ex. B (Implementation Plan).
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D. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    10. On April 16, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking proposing to approve Reliability Standard PRC-002-2.\17\ The 
NOPR also proposed to approve the associated violation risk factors and 
violation severity levels, implementation plan, and effective date 
proposed by NERC.
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    \17\ Disturbance Monitoring and Reporting Requirements 
Reliability Standard, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 80 FR 22,441 
(Apr. 22, 2015), 151 FERC ] 61,042 (2015) (NOPR).
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    11. In response to the NOPR, NERC filed initial comments in support 
of the NOPR. Bonneville Power Administration (Bonneville) and American 
Public Power Association (APPA) filed comments addressing aspects of 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 and the NOPR.\18\ NERC filed reply 
comments in response to Bonneville and APPA's comments. Below, we 
address the issues raised in Bonneville and APPA's comments.
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    \18\ Mr. Eric S. Morris's comments did not specifically address 
issues concerning Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 or the NOPR.
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II. Discussion

    12. Pursuant to FPA section 215(d)(2), the Commission approves 
Reliability Standard PRC-001-2 as just, reasonable, not unduly 
discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. We also 
approve the associated violation risk factors, violation severity 
levels, implementation plan, and effective date proposed by NERC. In 
addition, we approve the retirement of Reliability Standard PRC-018-1 
due to its consolidation with Reliability Standard PRC-002-2.\19\
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    \19\ As noted above, the Commission in Order No. 693 did not 
approve proposed Reliability Standard PRC-002-1 but, rather, took no 
action on the Reliability Standard pending the receipt of additional 
information. Order No. 693, FERC Stats. and Regs. ] 31,242 at P 
1456. Accordingly, with the approval of Reliability Standard PRC-
002-2, proposed Reliability Standard PRC-002-1 is ``retired,'' i.e., 
withdrawn, and no longer pending before the Commission.
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    13. Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 enhances reliability by imposing 
mandatory requirements concerning the monitoring and reporting of 
disturbances. Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 provides greater 
continent-wide consistency regarding collection methods for data used 
in the analysis of disturbances on the Bulk-Power System. Specifically, 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 enhances reliability by consistently 
requiring covered entities to collect time-synchronized information and 
to report disturbances on the Bulk-Power System. Accordingly, we 
determine that Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 satisfies the relevant 
directive in Order No. 693.\20\
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    \20\ Order No. 693, FERC Stats. and Regs. ] 31,242 at P 1456 
(``the ERO should consider whether greater consistency can be 
achieved'' regarding disturbance monitoring and reporting).
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    14. We address below Bonneville's comments regarding the 
methodology used in Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 to identify bulk 
electric system buses that require data recording and, in Section V 
below, APPA's comments regarding the NOPR's Regulatory Flexibility Act 
certification.

Methodology for Identifying Applicable Bulk Electric System Buses NOPR

    15. The NOPR proposed to approve Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 
because the Reliability Standard enhances reliability by imposing 
mandatory requirements concerning the monitoring and reporting of 
disturbances and provides greater continent-wide consistency regarding 
collection methods for data used in the analysis of disturbances on the 
Bulk-Power System. The NOPR did not raise concerns regarding the 
methodology used in Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 for identifying bulk 
electric system buses that require data recording.

Comments

    16. Bonneville states that it supports using digital fault 
recorders for sequence of events recordings and fault recordings, but 
Bonneville does not support the methodology used to identify bulk 
electric system buses that require data recording.\21\ Bonneville 
claims that NERC's petition did not provide a technical justification 
for the 1,500 Mega Volt Amps (MVA) calculated three-phase short circuit 
threshold in Reliability Standard PRC-002-2.\22\ Bonneville states that 
previous drafts of the Reliability Standard ``used more logical 
criteria that the industry has utilized in the past, such as the number 
of lines connected to a bus.'' \23\
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    \21\ Bonneville Comments at 2-3.
    \22\ Id. at 3.
    \23\ Id.
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    17. Bonneville also contends that the methodology used in 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 does not allow for adequate 
consideration of the unique characteristics of an individual utility's

[[Page 57706]]

system.\24\ Bonneville acknowledges that Reliability Standard PRC-002-
2, Requirement R1 (in Attachment 1, Step 8) allows for the selection of 
additional bulk electric system buses ``at the Transmission Owner's 
discretion, to provide maximum wide-area coverage for [sequence of 
events] and [fault recording] data.'' \25\ However, Bonneville contends 
that such discretion ``may not result in consistent or repeatable 
results.'' \26\ Bonneville also questions how this provision would be 
audited.\27\ Bonneville recommends replacing the methodology in 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 with an existing methodology used in 
other Reliability Standards to identify critical facilities and the 
bulk electric system buses associated with those facilities, such as 
the high, medium, and low impact designations used in Reliability 
Standard CIP-005-5.1.\28\
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    \24\ Id.
    \25\ Id.
    \26\ Id.
    \27\ Id.
    \28\ Id. at 4.
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    18. In its reply comments, NERC states that Reliability Standard 
PRC-002-2 provides a technically sound basis for identifying which 
buses require data collection.\29\ NERC contends that MVA levels more 
accurately measure the reliability impact of a particular bus than 
counting the number of transmission lines connected to the bus.\30\ 
NERC explains that that the standard drafting team established the MVA 
threshold by sending an information request to all transmission owners 
and generator owners requesting data on bus fault magnitude for three-
phase bolted faults on buses operated at 100 kV and higher.\31\ NERC 
states that the standard drafting team performed a median value 
analysis and concluded that the appropriate threshold is 1,500 MVA.\32\
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    \29\ NERC Reply Comments at 5-6.
    \30\ Id. at 6-7.
    \31\ Id. at 7-8.
    \32\ Id. at 8.
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    19. NERC explains that it included Step 8 of the bus identification 
methodology in Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 to allow for the 
engineering judgment of a transmission owner to account for the unique 
characteristics of its system and to ensure adequate data capture for 
proper event analysis.\33\ NERC notes that Step 8 also provides 
criteria to guide an entity's decision and that, given this objective 
criteria, auditors will have a firm basis to assess whether the 
transmission owner satisfied its obligation under Step 8.\34\ In 
response to Bonneville's alternative approach, NERC contends that the 
selection methodology in Reliability Standard CIP 005-5.1 contemplates 
cybersecurity issues and does not contemplate the optimum location of 
disturbance monitoring.\35\
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    \33\ Id. at 8-9.
    \34\ Id. at 9.
    \35\ Id.
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Commission Determination

    20. We are not persuaded by Bonneville's concerns regarding the 
methodology used to identify bulk electric system buses that require 
data recording. As described in NERC's reply comments, NERC has 
provided adequate technical justification, through the use of survey 
data and statistical analysis, for the 1,500 MVA threshold in 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-2. We also find that the methodology in 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 adequately addresses the unique 
characteristics of individual utility systems by allowing for the 
selection of additional buses in Step 8 and that the decisions to add 
buses under Step 8 are auditable.

III. Information Collection Statement

    21. The collection of information addressed in this final rule is 
subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 
section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.\36\ OMB's 
regulations require approval of certain information collection 
requirements imposed by agency rules.\37\ Upon approval of a 
collection(s) of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and 
an expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of a 
rule will not be penalized for failing to respond to these collections 
of information unless the collections of information display a valid 
OMB control number.
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    \36\ 44 U.S.C. 3507(d).
    \37\ 5 CFR 1320.11.
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    22. Public Reporting Burden: The number of respondents below is 
based on an examination of the NERC compliance registry for 
transmission owners and generation owners and the estimation of how 
many entities from that registry will be affected. At the time of 
Commission review of Reliability Standard PRC-002-2, 324 transmission 
owners and 915 generation owners in the United States are registered in 
the NERC compliance registry. The Commission notes that many generation 
sites share a common generation owner. Due to the nature of this task, 
it is likely generator owners will manage this information aggregation 
task using a centralized staff. Therefore, we estimate that one-third 
of the generation owners (305) will have to meet the requirements 
contained in Reliability Standard PRC-002-2. We estimate that all 324 
registered transmission owners will need to comply with requirement R1 
in Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 once every five years. We further 
estimate that two-thirds (216) of the registered transmission owners 
will need to comply with the remaining requirements contained in 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-2. Finally, we find the number of 
``Responsible Entities'' in the United States to equal 50, based on the 
NERC compliance registry.\38\ The following table illustrates the 
burden to be applied to the information collection.\39\
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    \38\ As discussed above, Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 defines 
the term ``Responsible Entity'' to include planning coordinators in 
the Eastern Interconnection, the reliability coordinator in the 
Western Interconnection, and planning coordinators or the 
reliability coordinator in the ERCOT Interconnection.
    \39\ In the burden table, engineering is abbreviated as ``Eng.'' 
and record keeping is abbreviated as ``R.K.''
    \40\ The estimates for cost per response are derived using the 
following formula: Burden Hours per Response * $/hour = Cost per 
Response. The $65.34/hour figure for an engineer and the $33.42/hour 
figure for a record clerk are based on the average salary plus 
benefits data from Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    \41\ In the NOPR, we estimated that each transmission owner 
would respond annually. In this final rule, we have revised the 
table to reflect that Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 requires 
transmission owners to comply every fifth year. We have revised the 
calculated values in column 5 of this row and the total row 
accordingly.

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                                           Annual  number                   Average burden
 Requirement and  respondent   Number of    of  responses   Total  number    hours & cost    Annual burden hours
   category for PRC-002-2     respondents        per        of  responses   per  response    & total annual cost
                                  (1)      respondent (2)    (1)*(2)=(3)       \40\ (4)          (3)*(4)=(5)
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R1. Each Transmission Owner.          324        \41\ 0.2            64.8  (Eng.) 24 hrs.   2,333 hrs. (1,555
                                                                            ($1,568.16);     Eng., 778 R.K.);
                                                                            (R.K.) 12 hrs.   $127,605 ($101,618
                                                                            ($401.04).       Eng., $25,987
                                                                                             R.K.).

[[Page 57707]]

 
R2. Each Transmission Owner           521               1             521  (Eng.) 10 hrs.   7,294 hrs. (5210
 and Generator Owner.                                                       ($653.40);       Eng., 2084 R.K.);
                                                                            (R.K.) 4 hrs.    $410,069 ($340,422
                                                                            ($133.68).       Eng., $69,647
                                                                                             R.K.).
R3 & R4. Each Transmission            521               1             521  (Eng.) 10 hrs.   7,294 hrs. (5210
 Owner and Generator Owner.                                                 ($653.40);       Eng., 2084 R.K.);
                                                                            (R.K.) 4 hrs.    $410,069 ($340,422
                                                                            ($133.68).       Eng., $69,647
                                                                                             R.K.).
R5. Each Responsible Entity.           50               1              50  (Eng.) 24 hrs.   1,800 hrs. (1200
                                                                            ($1,568.16);     Eng., 600 R.K.);
                                                                            (R.K.) 12 hrs.   $98,460 ($78,408
                                                                            ($401.04).       Eng., $20,052
                                                                                             R.K.).
R6. Each Transmission Owner.          216               1             216  (Eng.) 10 hrs.   3,024 hrs. (2160
                                                                            ($653.40);       Eng., 864 R.K.);
                                                                            (R.K.) 4 hrs.    $170,009 ($141,134
                                                                            ($133.68).       Eng., $28,875
                                                                                             R.K.).
R7. Each Generator Owner....          305               1             305  (Eng.) 10 hrs.   4,270 hrs. (3050
                                                                            ($653.40);       Eng., 1220 R.K.);
                                                                            (R.K.) 4 hrs.    $240,059 ($199,287
                                                                            ($133.68).       Eng., $40,772
                                                                                             R.K.).
R8. Each Transmission Owner           521               1             521  (Eng.) 10 hrs.   7,294 hrs. (5210
 and Generator Owner.                                                       ($653.40);       Eng., 2084 R.K.);
                                                                            (R.K.) 4 hrs.    $410,069 ($340,422
                                                                            ($133.68).       Eng., $69,647
                                                                                             R.K.).
R9. Each Transmission Owner           521               1             521  (Eng.) 10 hrs.   7,294 hrs. (5210
 and Generator Owner.                                                       ($653.40);       Eng., 2084 R.K.);
                                                                            (R.K.) 4 hrs.    $410,069 ($340,422
                                                                            ($133.68).       Eng., $69,647
                                                                                             R.K.).
R10. Each Transmission Owner          521               1             521  (Eng.) 10 hrs.   7,294 hrs. (5210
 and Generator Owner.                                                       ($653.40);       Eng., 2084 R.K.);
                                                                            (R.K.) 4 hrs.    $410,069 ($340,422
                                                                            ($133.68).       Eng., $69,647
                                                                                             R.K.).
R11. Each Transmission Owner          521               1             521  (Eng.) 8 hrs.    6,252 hrs. (4168
 and Generator Owner.                                                       ($522.72);       Eng., 2084 R.K.);
                                                                            (R.K.) 4 hrs.    $341,984 ($272,337
                                                                            ($133.68).       Eng., $69,647
                                                                                             R.K.).
R12. Each Transmission Owner           52               1              52  (Eng.) 10 hrs.   728 hrs. (520 Eng.,
 and Generator Owner \42\.                                                  ($653.40);       208 R.K.); $40,928
                                                                            (R.K.) 4 hrs.    ($33,977 Eng.,
                                                                            ($133.68).       $6,951 R.K.).
                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...................  ...........  ..............  ..............  ...............  54,877 hrs. (38,703
                                                                                             Eng., 16,174 R.K.);
                                                                                             $3,069,390
                                                                                             ($2,528,871 Eng.,
                                                                                             $540,519 R.K.).
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    Title: FERC-725G2 \43\ Disturbance Monitoring and Reporting 
Requirements.
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    \42\ The Commission estimates that 10 percent (or 52) of the 521 
registered entities will have to restore recording capability or 
institute a corrective action plan (CAP) each year.
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    Action: Revision to existing collection.
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    \43\ FERC-725G2 is temporarily being used because FERC-725G (OMB 
Control No. 1902-0252) is currently pending review at OMB.
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    OMB Control No: 1902-0281.
    Respondents: Business or other for profit, and not for profit 
institutions.
    Frequency of Responses: Annually.
    Necessity of the Information: Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 sets 
forth requirements for disturbance monitoring and reporting 
requirements that will ensure adequate data are available to facilitate 
analysis of bulk electric system disturbances.
    Internal review: The Commission has assured itself, by means of its 
internal review, that there is specific, objective support for the 
burden estimates associated with the information requirements.
    23. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting 
requirements by contacting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 
Office of the Executive Director, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 
20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, email: [email protected], phone: 
(202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873].
    24. Comments on the requirements of this rule may also be sent to 
the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission]. For security reasons, comments should be sent 
by email to OMB at the following email address: 
[email protected]. Please reference OMB Control No. 1902-
0281, FERC-725G2 and Docket No. RM15-4-000 in your submission.

IV. Environmental Analysis

    25. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental 
Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may 
have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.\44\ The 
Commission has categorically excluded certain actions from this 
requirement as not having a significant effect on the human 
environment. Included in the exclusion are rules that are clarifying, 
corrective, or procedural or that do not substantially change the 
effect of the regulations being amended.\45\ The actions here fall 
within this categorical exclusion in the Commission's regulations.
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    \44\ Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969, Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897 (Dec. 17, 1987), FERC Stats. 
& Regs., Regulations Preambles 1986-1990 ] 30,783 (1987).
    \45\ 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii).
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V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    26. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) \46\ generally 
requires a description and analysis of proposed rules that will have 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The Small Business Administration (SBA) revised its size standards 
(effective January 22, 2014) for electric utilities from a standard 
based on megawatt hours to a standard based on the number of employees, 
including affiliates.
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    \46\ 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

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[[Page 57708]]

NOPR

    27. The Commission proposed that, under SBA's new standards, some 
transmission owners and generation owners might fall under the 
following category and associated size threshold: electric bulk power 
transmission and control at 500 employees; hydroelectric power 
generation at 500 employees; fossil fuel electric power generation at 
750 employees; nuclear electric power generation at 750 employees.
    28. The Commission estimated that the number of applicable small 
entities will be minimal due to the gross MVA thresholds embedded into 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-2. The gross MVA thresholds focus 
information collection on bulk electric system facilities having 
Interconnection-wide impacts worthy of collecting. We estimated that 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 will apply to approximately 521 entities 
in the United States.\47\ The Commission applied the MVA thresholds 
above to estimate that approximately 52 (or 10 percent) are small 
entities. The Commission estimated for these small entities, 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-2, Requirement R1 may need to be evaluated 
and documented every five years with costs of $9,847 for each 
evaluation.\48\ From this set of small entities, the Commission 
estimated that five percent, or only two or three small entities, may 
be affected by the other requirements, i.e., Requirements R2 through 
R12, of Reliability Standard PRC-002-2. The Commission proposed that 
based on a prior industry-sponsored survey, annual compliance costs 
will average $100,000-$160,000 for entities subject to these 
requirements.\49\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ This number consists of the 216 transmission owners and the 
305 generation owners; however, it does not include the 50 
``Responsible Entities.'' See supra n.38.
    \48\ The costs associated with evaluation will occur every fifth 
year. By dividing the estimated costs of evaluation by five, we 
estimate the annual cost to be $1,969.40.
    \49\ See NERC Petition Ex. G (Record of Development) at 257 of 
pdf file, providing link to: NERC Cost Effective Analysis Process 
(CEAP) Pilot for NERC Project 2007-11--Disturbance Monitoring--PRC-
002-2 at 8 (Apr. 9, 2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments

    29. APPA contends that the NOPR understates the impact that 
Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 will have on small entities by 
underestimating the number or small entities affected and by not 
addressing the ``discriminatory distribution of implementation costs'' 
on small entities.\50\ APPA bases its assertion on information provided 
by one APPA member and not on a formal survey of its members or 
independent analysis.\51\ APPA states that its unnamed member, a 
municipal joint action agency, has determined that ten of its members 
qualify as small entities and that eight of these entities would be 
subject to the requirements of Reliability Standard PRC-002-2. APPA 
further claims that ``if the Commission were to extrapolate from the 
information outlined above to the estimated 52 small [transmission 
operators] across the country, it would clearly show that a substantial 
number of small entities are affected by proposed reliability standard 
PRC-002-2.'' \52\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ APPA Comments at 3.
    \51\ Id.
    \52\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    30. APPA also contends that Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 will 
place an undue burden on small entities because they do not currently 
have sequence of events recording or fault recording data recorders 
installed on their bulk electric system buses.\53\ APPA contrasts this 
with larger entities that may have already installed those data 
recorders.\54\ APPA also maintains that small entities' buses likely 
would not be selected for monitoring if they were included in a larger 
data set analyzed on a wide-area basis.\55\ APPA further states that 
the methodology in Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 unduly discriminates 
against small entities because entities with fewer than 10 qualifying 
buses will have to monitor a greater percentage of their buses than 
larger entities, which are responsible to monitor only 10 percent of 
their buses.\56\ APPA requests that if the Commission does not require 
changes to Reliability Standard PRC-002-2, the Commission should direct 
NERC to provide an alternative compliance methodology for small 
entities that would allow them to find an equally effective method to 
gather data from upstream buses to reduce the burden on small 
entities.\57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ Id. at 3-4.
    \54\ Id. at 4.
    \55\ Id. at 4-6.
    \56\ Id. at 6-7.
    \57\ Id. at 7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    31. In its reply comments, NERC contends that Reliability Standard 
PRC-002-2 does not place an undue burden on small entities.\58\ NERC 
states that Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 does not explicitly require 
the installation of fault recording data recorders on all identified 
buses.\59\ NERC explains that transmission owners need not install 
devices to meet the requirements of Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 as 
long as the transmission owner can obtain the required data from other 
sources such as other buses.\60\ NERC contends that APPA's comment that 
the Reliability Standard should identify either regional or sub-
regional bus locations as appropriate for disturbance monitoring is 
flawed because transmission owners are in the best position to 
determine the location of the buses due to their knowledge of their 
systems.\61\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \58\ NERC Reply Comments at 9-11.
    \59\ Id. at 9.
    \60\ Id. at 9-10.
    \61\ Id. at 11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Commission Determination

    32. The RFA requires an analysis when a rule will have significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The comments 
submitted by APPA do not justify altering the RFA certification 
proposed in the NOPR.
    33. We are not persuaded by APPA's claims regarding the number of 
small entities likely to be affected by Reliability Standard PRC-002-2. 
APPA relied on an unverified report from a single unnamed entity to 
claim that eight small entities (rather than the two or three estimated 
in the NOPR) would be affected by Reliability Standard PRC-002-2. Even 
if we were to assume that APPA is correct regarding the eight small 
entities, we find that eight small entities out of 52 estimated small 
entities is not a substantial number of small entities. Further, aside 
from the number of small entities affected, APPA does not address the 
NOPR's estimate that Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 will not impose a 
significant economic impact on applicable small entities.
    34. With respect to APPA's claim that Reliability Standard PRC-002-
2 imposes ``discriminatory distribution of implementation costs on 
small entities,'' \62\ we agree with NERC that APPA's comments are 
premised on the incorrect assertion that Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 
requires the installation of recording devices. As noted in NERC's 
reply comments, Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 gives applicable 
entities ``the flexibility to either install devices on their systems 
or, to reduce their financial burden, obtain the necessary data through 
other means (e.g., by working with their interconnected neighbors).'' 
\63\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \62\ Id. at 3.
    \63\ Id. at 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    35. Accordingly, we certify that Reliability Standard PRC-002-2 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.

VI. Document Availability

    36. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the 
Federal

[[Page 57709]]

Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity 
to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet 
through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the 
Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 
a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street, NE., Room 2A, 
Washington, DC 20426.
    37. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this 
information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is 
available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, 
printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type 
the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in 
the docket number field.
    38. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's 
Web site during normal business hours from FERC Online Support at 202-
502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at 
[email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-
8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at 
[email protected].

VII. Effective Date and Congressional Notification

    39. The final rule is effective November 24, 2015. The Commission 
has determined, with the concurrence of the Administrator of the Office 
of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, that this rule is not a 
``major rule'' as defined in section 351 of the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This final rule is being 
submitted to the Senate, House, and Government Accountability Office.

    By the Commission.

    Issued: September 17, 2015.
Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-24278 Filed 9-24-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6717-01-P


80_FR_57890
Current View
CategoryRegulatory Information
CollectionFederal Register
sudoc ClassAE 2.7:
GS 4.107:
AE 2.106:
PublisherOffice of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration
SectionRules and Regulations
ActionFinal rule.
DatesEffective Date: This rule will become effective November 24, 2015.
ContactJuan R. Villar (Technical Information), Office of Electric Reliability, Division of Reliability Standards and Security, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 536-2930, [email protected] Alan Rukin (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-8502, [email protected]
FR Citation80 FR 57704 

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