2019 Trends: Is the Burden of NERC for Renewable Generation Compliance Overstated?
- Jan 9, 2019 8:35 pm GMT
This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-01 - Predictions & Trends, click here for more
Should new renewable generation developers take the NERC reliability standards into consideration when sizing their projects? For some, that answer is an emphatic yes. The threshold for generating resources connected to the high voltage grid in North America to be considered Bulk Electric System (BES) assets is 75 megawatts. Exceeding this threshold means the owner and operator must register with their Regional Entity as a Generator Owner and Generator Operator. Most people who manage project regulatory risk would consider it an easy decision to avoid exposure to the reliability standards if possible. The language about potential sanctions of “…one million dollars per day, per violation” is daunting, in addition to the operational and regulatory burden of preparing for and subjecting oneself to periodic audits by the Regional Entity. Add in the various requirements for quarterly reporting like protection system operations and the more immediate reporting and documented mitigation of actual protection system misoperations, and a decision to avoid all these challenges and simply limit the resource size to below the 75 MW threshold looks appealing.
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