FERC Issues Geomagnetic Disturbance Final Rule

FERC has approved reliability requirements to address the impacts of geomagnetic disturbances. The requirements were proposed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) as revisions to NERC’s mandatory and enforceable reliability standards applicable to owners and operators of major electric transmission facilities. FERC determined that NERC’s standard “better addresses the risks posed by geomagnetic disturbances (GMDs) to the Bulk-Power System” than the currently effective NERC standard. The new NERC standard revises the benchmark GMD event definition, requires the collection of monitoring and magnetometer data, and includes deadlines to complete mitigation actions. FERC approved the new standard because it requires applicable entities to conduct supplemental GMD vulnerability assessments and thermal impact assessments, obtain geomagnetically induced current and magnetometer data, and meet deadlines for the development and completion of tasks in corrective action plans.

FERC also directed NERC to develop and file modifications to the reliability standard to require the development and implementation of corrective action plans to mitigate supplemental GMD vulnerability assessments, and to authorize extensions of time to implement corrective action plans on a case-by-case basis.

This rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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