FERC extends date of bulk electric system definition

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted a request by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) for a one-year extension (to July 1, 2014) of the effective date of the definition of “bulk electric system” recently approved by the commission.

According to the American Public Power Association (APPA), the extension of time also applies to implementation of the exception process and local distribution determinations.

The commission said more time is warranted so that registered entities, NERC and regional entities do not have to determine whether an element of the transmission system is eligible for inclusion or exclusion during a transition period while NERC responds to the commission’s directives “only possibly to have to re-evaluate the status of those same elements after NERC revises the definition in response to the directives.”

APPA and the Transmission Access Policy Study Group (TAPS) supported an extension, but with a caveat. In a May 31 joint filing, APPA and TAPS asked the commission to clarify that the revisions to NERC’s rules of procedure submitted in conjunction with the revised definition will be permitted to take effect on July 1. However, the commission indicated that this “would unnecessarily complicate implementation of the definition and the exception process.”

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