Powering Sustainability

by Kenneth M. Kulak

Recent focus on distributed generation has not addressed how companies will fully meet increasing sustainability commitments, including goals of being “100% powered by renewable energy.” Customers and utilities are exploring new approaches that may close the gap between corporate sustainability commitments and energy offerings.

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Reforms to Improve Gas-Electric Coordination

Please join us for a one-hour webinar to discuss proposed industry reforms designed to increase coordination of the gas and electric markets.

Electric generators have increasingly relied on natural gas in recent years, largely due to low gas prices and mounting concerns over the environmental impact of coal-fired generation. These changes have prompted market participants in the natural gas and electric industries to focus on the challenges associated with the growing interdependence of those industries. In response, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conducted industry outreach and held multiple technical conferences on gas-electric coordination to address issues such as scheduling practices, market structures, information sharing, and reliability concerns. Earlier this year, FERC issued a set of three orders with proposals to improve the scheduling of natural gas pipeline capacity and its coordination with electricity markets.

Topics addressed in the webinar will include:

  • Revisions to the operating and scheduling processes of interstate natural gas pipelines and electric utilities
  • Increased flexibility for gas shippers to respond to variable electricity demand
  • Alignment of Independent System Operator and Regional Transmission Organization scheduling practices with FERC’s proposed revisions
  • FERC’s oversight role and the next steps for developing final rules


Mark R. Haskell
Floyd L. Norton IV
Brett A. Snyder
Stephen M. Spina

CLE credit

CLE credit in CA, FL, IL, NJ,
NY, PA, TX, and VA is currently pending approval.

For more information, please contact Mary Ann K. Huntington at 202.739.5622 or mhuntington@morganlewis.com.

register/get more info

FERC Adopts Revisions to Bulk Electric System Definition

by John D. McGrane, Stephen M. Spina, J. Daniel Skees, and Pamela C. Tsang

On March 20, 2014, FERC approved a proposal by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to revise the definition of bulk electric system (BES), finding that the proposed definition improves reliability by focusing on core facilities that present the greatest risks of reliability failure. FERC explained that the revisions help ensure that the definition encompasses all facilities necessary for operating the interconnected transmission network.[1] The revised definition will become effective on July 1, 2014.

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LawFlash: FERC Proposes Reforms to Improve Gas-Electric Coordination

by Glen S. Bernstein, Mark R. Haskell, John D. McGrane, Floyd L. Norton, IV, and Stephen M. Spina

Electric generators’ increased reliance on natural gas in recent years prompted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the Commission) to issue a set of three orders on March 20, 2014 addressing the interdependency of the gas and electric markets. The result of two years of industry outreach and multiple technical conferences, the orders represent a preliminary milestone in the Commission’s continued effort to improve the coordination and scheduling of natural gas pipeline capacity with electricity markets.

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LawFlash: FERC Directs Reliability Standards for Physical Security

by John D. McGrane, Stephen M. Spina, and J. Daniel Skees

Following well-publicized threats to the physical security of electric system assets, on March 7, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) directed the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to develop mandatory Reliability Standards to protect against physical risks to “critical” electric facilities.[1] Due in 90 days, the Reliability Standards must provide the following:

  • A methodology for identifying the critical facilities to be protected
  • A requirement to identify the critical facilities’ vulnerabilities
  • A requirement that facility owners and operators develop and implement a plan to protect against those vulnerabilities

This order will initiate a NERC Reliability Standards development project addressing comprehensive physical security requirements that must also produce results in a highly compressed timeframe.

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Electric Utilities and the Cybersecurity Executive Order: Anticipating the Next Year

by Stephen M. Spina and J. Daniel Skees

Cyber attacks are increasingly becoming a regular part of an electric utility’s day-to-day business risks. News agencies provide an ongoing stream of reports on the increasing sophistication and danger of these attacks: 30,000 workstations disabled by a malicious virus at a Saudi oil firm, a generator’s control system infected by malware carried on a USB drive, and a generator restart delayed for three weeks by a malware inadvertently uploaded to control systems by a technician. Of the cyber incidents reported to the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (“ICSCERT”) between October 2011 and September 2012, forty one percent of incidents involved the energy sector, by far the largest number of incidents by sector.

LawFlash: FERC Approves Version 5 CIP Reliability Standards, Rejects Key Reforms

by John D. McGrane, Stephen M. Spina, and J. Daniel Skees

On November 22, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued Order No. 791,[1] approving comprehensive revisions to the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards. The revisions were recently proposed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to address many of the concerns regarding CIP compliance that have arisen over the last few years as well as to close out the remaining Commission directives ordering changes to the CIP Reliability Standards.

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