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FERC Issues Final Rule on Protection System Coordination, Personnel Training in Order 847

FERC Issues Final Rule on Protection System Coordination, Personnel Training in Order 847

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.

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James Crawford III
Written by James Crawford III
James Crawford III is a senior consultant for critical infrastructure cybersecurity, risk and reliability at 1898 & Co., part of Burns & McDonnell. He has more than 20 years of experience in the progressive electric utility industry, including project management, transmission services and customer service, and he is well-versed in FERC filing requirements and interpretation of regulatory orders and proceedings. He has a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Florida A&M University.

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