December 20, 2017

December Board and Members Meetings

The NATF held its quarterly board and annual members meetings in December.  Members approved a memorandum of understanding with the IEEE PES and discussed NATF and industry topics, such as safety, human performance, CIP supply chain standards, system events and recovery, renewable energy, peer reviews, metrics, operating experience, situational awareness, and equipment.

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November 24, 2017

System Operations Workshop

The NATF held a System Operations Practices Group workshop in November. Topics included hurricane system restoration, NERC TOP-010-1 implementation and metrics, supplemental operations strategies (spare tire), transient and voltage stability in the control room, and alarm processing.

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November 08, 2017

NATF Posts Supply-Chain Guidance Documents for Industry Use

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 829 directed the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to develop “a forward-looking, objective-based Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standard that requires each affected entity to develop and implement a plan that includes security controls for supply chain management for industrial control system hardware, software, and services associated with bulk electric system operations.”  FERC noted the standard should address software integrity and authenticity, vendor remote access, information system planning, and vendor risk management and procurement controls.

Subsequently, the NERC board asked the North American Transmission Forum (NATF) and North American Generator Forum to “develop white papers to address best and leading practices in supply chain management, including procurement, specifications, vendor requirements and existing equipment management, that are shared across the membership of each Forum, and to the extent permissible under any applicable confidentiality requirements, distribute such white papers to industry.”

The NATF developed the following two documents to support the NERC request and to serve as guidance for NATF members and the industry.

  • NATF Guidance for CIP-005-6 Vendor Remote Access
  • NATF Guidance for CIP-010-3 Software Integrity

The files are posted on the documents page of the NATF public website and have been submitted to NERC for consideration as “Implementation Guidance.”

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October 12, 2017

Vegetation Management Workshop

The NATF held its annual vegetation management workshop last week.  Topics included program management technologies, compliance, safety incidents and promoting a safety culture with vendors, herbicide programs, environmental initiatives, legal challenges, contract-management performance indicators, and work-quality monitoring.

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October 03, 2017

Newsletter Posted

The NATF posted a new issue of its external newsletter on the newsletters page.  Topics include the Peer Review Program, new public documents, NERC Implementation Guidance submittals and endorsements, and workshops.

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October 02, 2017

September Board and Annual Members Meetings

The NATF recently held its quarterly board and annual members meetings in September. Members approved the NATF’s 2018 business plan and budget and elected new board members and officers. Discussion topics included resiliency, external collaboration, safety, security, human performance, training, transmission-nuclear interface, peer reviews, metrics, operating experience, and equipment.

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September 29, 2017

NATF Posts CIP and Resiliency Documents for Industry Use

To benefit the industry and inform regulators of ongoing work, the NATF has posted the following documents on its public website:

  • NATF Practices Document for NERC Reliability Standard CIP-014-2 Requirement R4
    • Guidance for conducting evaluations of potential threats and vulnerabilities of a physical security attack against a Transmission station, Transmission substation, and/or a primary control center
  • NATF Practices Document for NERC Reliability Standard CIP-014-2 Requirement R5
    • Guidance for a physical security plan—includes a template to help with CIP-014 R5 documentation
  • NATF Document for Implementation and Use of Transient Cyber Assets (TCAs) – NERC Reliability Standard CIP-010-2 Requirement R4, Attachment 1, Sections 1 and 2
    • Implementation guidance for members and industry related to TCAs; developed on a template conducive to NERC’s compliance guidance initiative
  • Transmission System Resiliency – An Overview
    • An update to the NATF resiliency summary created in 2015
The CIP-014-2 documents are updates to previously posted NATF CIP-014-1 documents to align with the current version of the standard.  All three CIP-related documents have been submitted to NERC for consideration as Implementation Guidance.

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September 25, 2017

NERC Endorses NATF Modeling Reference as Implementation Guidance

NERC recently endorsed the “NATF MOD-033-1 Methodology Reference Document” as Implementation Guidance.  The document, which provides guidance on model validation, is posted on the NATF public documents and NERC compliance guidance pages.

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September 05, 2017

NATF Training Workshop

The NATF held its annual Operator Training Practices Group train-the-trainer workshop in August. Topics included productivity, innovative training ideas, presentation methods for communication topics, training center technology, training OJT instructors, job performance evaluations, micro learning, and training multiple generations.

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July 14, 2017

NATF Posts Supplemental Resiliency Document: “Bulk Electric Systems Operations absent Energy Management System and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Capabilities—a Spare Tire Approach”

Earlier this year, the North American Transmission Forum (NATF) posted “NATF BES Monitoring and Control—an Overview of Backup Capabilities,” which provides an overview of the key capabilities for the reliable operation of the bulk electric system (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. 

As a follow-up to that effort, a team of subject-matter experts from NATF member organizations drafted “Bulk Electric Systems Operations absent Energy Management System and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Capabilities—a Spare Tire Approach” to assess how electric utilities could continue to operate during an event that disables both primary and backup controls systems (e.g., EMS/SCADA) and identify future areas of industry work and research to better enable operations during scenarios where there is a total loss of EMS/SCADA capability.

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

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July 03, 2017

NATF-NERC Joint Modeling Workshop

In coordination with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the NATF held a modeling workshop in June.  Topics included dynamic load modeling, power plant modeling, system model validation (MOD-033), integrating renewables at the transmission level, distributed energy resources modeling, and emerging modeling issues.

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June 15, 2017

NATF External Newsletter

The NATF’s new external newsletter is intended to inform those outside our membership about some of the reliability and resilience work underway at the NATF.  Please visit our newsletter page to learn more.

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June 15, 2017

NATF Posts EMS External Modeling Reference Document for Industry Use

Proper modeling of external systems is key to providing system operators with situational awareness of both their own and adjacent systems.  External modeling also informs operators how changes on adjacent systems can impact their systems.

NATF members recently developed the “NATF EMS External Modeling Reference Document” to provide guidance to those working to improve performance of their EMS external models.  The intended audience is personnel responsible for developing and maintaining EMS models for real-time state estimator and real-time contingency analysis.

We believe sharing this document with the industry will enhance external system modeling for all system operators, thus enhancing reliable operations for the entire Bulk Electric System.  Accordingly, the NATF has posted the document to the Documents section of its public website (www.natf.net).

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May 18, 2017

Joint Compliance-Security Workshop

The NATF held a joint compliance and security workshop in May. Topics included internal controls, document management, confidential information protection, compliance best practices, transient cyber assets, cyber security supply chain risk management, data warehousing, CIP-014, security operations centers, and physical security.

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April 03, 2017

NATF Participates in NERC Reliability Leadership Summit

NATF President and CEO Tom Galloway, along with a number of NATF members, recently participated in NERC’s Reliability Leadership Summit.  The goal of the summit was to discuss “challenges in operating the bulk power system; resiliency and security; and emerging risks to reliability,” and inputs will influence reliability risk profiles developed by the Reliability Issues Steering Committee (RISC).  The NATF is currently reviewing RISC Priorities to identify where and how it can offer support and leadership.

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March 28, 2017

Joint NATF-NERC Human Performance Conference and Workshops Underway

The NATF and North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) are co-hosting a human performance conference and associated workshops this week in Atlanta, Georgia.  Topics include a human performance 101 course, root-cause analysis training, advanced techniques for coaching and observing behavior, and a course on deviation analysis.

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March 24, 2017

NATF Posts CIP-014-2 and MOD-033-1 Reference Documents for Industry Use

To promote excellence in transmission reliability and resiliency, North American Transmission Forum (NATF) members share ideas, experiences, and practices on a range of topics, including modeling and physical security.  A subset of this work includes helping position members for successful implementation of North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Reliability Standards, as appropriate.  We do this by forming teams of subject-matter experts to document insights on certain requirements and terminology in the standards.  The NATF recently completed reference documents for NERC standards CIP-014-2 and MOD-033-1.

The “NATF CIP-014-2 Requirement R1 Guideline” provides information on performing initial and subsequent risk assessments of transmission stations and substations that if rendered inoperable or damaged could result in instability, uncontrolled separation, or cascading within an interconnection.  The document is an update to the previous NATF document designed for CIP-014-1, which was considered ERO enterprise-endorsed implementation guidance; the only changes are references to the new version of the standard (CIP-014-2).

The “NATF MOD-033-1 Methodology Reference Document” is intended to provide guidance, examples, and approaches for performing system model validation as described in the requirements in NERC Reliability Standard MOD-033-1. The intended audience is Planning Coordinator (PC) personnel with responsibility for conducting the various studies called for under MOD-033-1.

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).  The NATF plans to submit both documents for consideration as NERC compliance implementation guidance.

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March 24, 2017

March Board and Members Meetings

The NATF held its quarterly board and members meetings in March. Members approved the NATF’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan and ratified a new member. Discussion topics included equipment, process improvement, human performance, safety, transformers, resiliency, storm and event restoration, and asset management.

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February 21, 2017

February Member Newsletter

The NATF’s February newsletter has been posted to the member site.  Article topics include joint NATF-EPRI Transmission Resiliency Summit highlights, workshop schedule, resiliency “spare tire” operations, environmental conditions affecting tree health, human performance roadmap, operating experience, and surveys.

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December 19, 2016

December Board and Members Meetings

The NATF recently held its December board and members meetings.  Members ratified a new NATF member and discussed key industry topics, including resiliency, misoperations, distributed energy, risk, safety, line siting and construction, vegetation management, metrics, operating experience, and regulatory initiatives.

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