Updates

December 15, 2016

NATF Posts “NATF BES Monitoring and Control – An Overview of Backup Capabilities” Document

Given the importance of control centers that continuously monitor and control the generation and transmission power flows on the bulk electric system (BES), their infrastructures, and the tools utilized therein, a variety of methods are employed to ensure these critical capabilities remain available and operational during both normal and emergency situations.  Due to the significance and complexity of these systems and their configurations, operating entities have documented plans to address loss of critical capabilities and to facilitate coordinated operations, even during extreme conditions.

The North American Transmission Forum (NATF) formed a team of subject-matter experts from NATF member organizations to document the industry’s current capabilities and potential needs if an area’s control center capabilities were lost due to a catastrophic event.  The “NATF BES Monitoring and Control – An Overview of Backup Capabilities” document is the initial product of the effort.  It provides an overview of the key capabilities for the reliable operation of the BES, along with a description of the various approaches used within the industry to ensure redundancy for critical capabilities so that System Operators are able to continuously monitor and control the BES in the event of the loss of primary control center capabilities.  The project team is now at work on a related document regarding current and needed capabilities for non-traditional hazards.

For the benefit of regulators and the industry at large, the NATF has posted the overview document to the Documents section of its public website (www.natf.net).

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November 23, 2016

November Member Newsletter Posted

The NATF’s November newsletter has been posted to the member site.  Article topics include misoperations, resiliency, training, cold-weather preparation, risk and controls, metrics, operating experience, and surveys.

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November 04, 2016

2016 Vegetation Management Workshop

The NATF held its annual vegetation management workshop in October. Topics included environmental compliance, public communication and outreach, software for managing contractor data, helicopter side pruning, notification practices, unmanned aerial vehicle patrols, OSHA 1910.269 Update, herbicides, and implementing GIS and LiDAR programs.

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October 10, 2016

NATF Posts TPL-001-4 Reference Documents for Industry Use

NERC’s TPL-001-4 Planning Standard was created to “Establish Transmission system planning performance requirements within the planning horizon to develop a Bulk Electric System (BES) that will operate reliably over a broad spectrum of System conditions and following a wide range of probable Contingencies.”  Transmission Planners involved in the development of the standard have stated that TPL-001-4 “raises the bar” on what Transmission Planners and Planning Coordinators must consider when conducting their annual transmission planning assessments.    

To help position members for successful implementation, teams of subject-matter experts from NATF member organizations developed reference documents to provide insight on certain requirements and terminology in the standard. 

For the benefit of Transmission Planners and Planning Coordinators who are not NATF members, as well as the industry at large, the NATF has posted versions of these documents (“NATF Transient Voltage Criteria Reference Document” and “NATF TPL 001-4 Reference Document”) to the Documents section of its public website (www.natf.net).

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September 30, 2016

September Board and Annual Members Meetings

The NATF recently held its September board and annual members meetings. Members approved the NATF’s 2017 business plan and budget, elected new board members and officers, and ratified a new NATF member. Focus topics included security, peer reviews, metrics, operating experience, equipment, resiliency, control centers, and human performance.

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August 30, 2016

Training Workshop

The NATF held its annual Operator Training Practices Group train-the-trainer workshop in August. Topics included implementing the new PER-005-2 standard, training techniques to engage operators, maintaining a secure training environment, gamification in training, training OJT mentors, and NERC Personnel Subcommittee activities.

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August 19, 2016

August Member Newsletter

The NATF’s August newsletter has been posted to the member site.  Article topics include human performance, system operations, training, peer reviews, metrics, operating experience, and lessons learned.

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July 01, 2016

Modeling Practices Group Workshop

The NATF held its annual Modeling Practices Group workshop in June.  Topics included dynamic load modeling, distributed energy resources, MOD-033 model validation, EMS modeling, grid resiliency modeling, and GMD modeling and planning for TPL-007 studies.

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June 27, 2016

2016 System Operations Practices Group Workshop

The NATF held its System Operations Practices Group workshop in June. Topics included implementing new TOP standards, development of new control centers, outage coordination, and off-line engineering analysis.

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June 24, 2016

June Board and Members Meetings

The NATF held its quarterly board and members meetings in June. Members approved the NATF’s 2016-2020 Long-Range Operational Plan and discussed a range of industry topics, including operating experience, operational testing, cyber security, physical security, metrics, safety, misoperations, resiliency, and transformers.

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May 23, 2016

Joint Compliance-Security Workshop

The NATF held a joint compliance and security workshop in May. Topics included self assessments, CMEP implementation, tracking and mapping internal controls, CIP audit and compliance monitoring experience, risk and controls identification, low-impact devices, security desk concepts.

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May 20, 2016

May Member Newsletter

The NATF’s May newsletter has been posted to the member site.  Article topics include operating experience lessons and analysis, cyber security, GMD, information technology, trends and themes, peer reviews, and metrics.

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May 15, 2016

Transmission-Nuclear Power Plant Interface Workshop

The NATF’s Transmission-Nuclear Power Plant Interface Practice Group held a workshop in May. Representatives from transmission and nuclear power plant organizations attended to kick off the development of a practice for assessing and communicating the risk of switchyard activities.

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May 10, 2016

Human Performance and Operating Experience Symposium

The NATF held its 2016 Human Performance and Operating Experience Symposium in early May. Topics focused on starting, sustaining, and improving human performance and operating experience programs; tying human performance and operating experience together; event analysis and corrective actions; and tools to share operating experience internally.

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March 31, 2016

March Board and Members Meetings

The NATF held its quarterly board and members meetings in March. Members approved the NATF’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan and ratified one new member. Discussion topics included operating experience, human performance, GMD, gas-electric coordination, switching, resiliency, internal controls, and asset management.

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March 20, 2016

NATF-EPRI Transmission Resiliency Summit

The NATF and EPRI held a joint transmission resiliency summit in March. Topics included GMD, physical security, modeling, and security/resiliency issues outside of the electric utility industry.

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March 01, 2016

System Protection Workshop

The NATF held a system protection workshop in February. Topics included maintenance and testing, fiber-based substations, inadvertent operations, and human performance.

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February 29, 2016

February Member Newsletter Posted

The NATF’s February newsletter has been posted to the member site. Article topics include causal analysis, SCADA, reliability initiatives, peer reviews, metrics, operating experience, lessons learned, and surveys.

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December 22, 2015

December Board and Members Meetings

The NATF held its quarterly board and members meetings in December. Members ratified two new members and discussed a range of industry topics, including safety, resiliency, equipment performance, asset management, human-performance tools, operating experience, and gas-electric coordination.

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November 23, 2015

NATF Posts One-Pagers on Resiliency and EMP for Industry Use

In recent years, a culmination of events related to extreme weather (e.g., Hurricane Sandy) and sabotage has raised awareness of the need for increased focus on system resiliency, which can be described as preparing for, operating through, and recovering from a high impact, low frequency (HILF) event. Since 2012, the NATF has had one or more projects focused on improving the industry’s reliability and resiliency in these areas. This concern extends to the potential of damage from electromagnetic pulse (EMP), high‐altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP), and intentional electromagnetic interference (IEMI) attacks or the possibility of an extreme or unprecedented geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) event.

These issues are of high importance for a number of reasons, including public safety, the integrity of industry infrastructure, and our society’s high reliance on electronic technology (computers, microprocessors, etc.). Accordingly, the NATF has developed overview documents on Resiliency and EMP/GMD/IEMI to provide perspective on these important issues and share some information regarding how NATF members are responding to and preparing for these risks and potential significant events. These documents are only one component of the multi-layered approach NATF members are using to help improve reliability and resiliency.

For the benefit of the industry at large, the NATF has posted these documents to the Documents section of its public website (www.natf.net). We continue to develop fact sheets on a variety of topics, and may share additional versions in the future.

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