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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 97-215



Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Electric Reliability Standards

[27 Pa.B. 809]

[Doc. No. L-970120]

   On December 3, 1996, Governor Tom Ridge signed into law the Electric Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act (PN 4282) (act) to establish standards and procedures to create direct access by retail customers to the competitive market for the generation of electricity, while maintaining the safety and reliability of the electric system.

   In response, the Commission is considering, inter alia, the adoption of regulations to provide for and ensure continuing safety, adequacy and reliability of the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Pennsylvania. In order to facilitate the establishment of reliability standards, the Commission is considering the following issues and requests comments from electric utilities and other interested parties.

   With regard to inspection and maintenance of transmission and distribution facilities, provide comments concerning the specific standards, if any, which are necessary to further ensure the safety and reliability of these facilities. Provide comments concerning whether the Commission should require annual or biennial inspection reports. If these inspection reports are deemed necessary, provide comments concerning the specific information which should be included in such reports. Provide comments concerning the applicability of other industry standards and practices, and whether such standards are needed to ensure the safety and reliability of electric service.

   Provide comments concerning (1) whether it is sufficient to rely on the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) and the regional reliability councils for the development of reliability standards and practices and (2) whether the Commission should establish its own reliability criteria. If it is deemed appropriate for the Commission to establish its own reliability criteria, discuss what specific criteria are necessary, including a definition for an adequate reserve margin, and whether reliability protocols should be mandatory. If it is deemed necessary to mandate reliability protocols, discuss whether the Commission should enforce such protocols.

   With regard to licensure, provide comments concerning whether full or associate membership in appropriate regional reliability councils should be a requirement for obtaining a license to provide service to retail customers. Discuss whether the Commission should require mandatory compliance with NERC or other reliability protocols as a condition for approval of tariffs, licenses or contractual agreements between industry participants. Provide comments concerning additional reporting requirements, if any, which may be needed for monitoring reserve margins. Discuss the reporting requirements and other related filings which should be imposed upon non-jurisdictional electric suppliers as a prerequisite to providing service to Pennsylvania's retail customers. Discuss whether penalties or sanctions would be appropriate for non-compliance with established reliability protocols. Include in this discussion any other procedures which should be implemented to ensure the maintenance of adequate reserve margins.

   Written comments, an original and fifteen copies, must be received 30 days after the date this notice is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The contact person is Blaine Loper, Bureau of Conservation, Economics and Energy Planning, (717) 787-3810 (technical) and Susan T. Povilaitis, Law Bureau, (717) 787-2871 (legal).

   This is an advance notice of proposed rulemaking and is in addition to the normal rulemaking procedures for publication and comment established under the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240), known as the Commonwealth Documents Law.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 97-215. Filed for public inspection February 14, 1997, 9:00 a.m.]

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