Registration & Certification
The new FERC-approved definition of the Bulk Electric System went into effect on July 1, 2014. Registered Entities with newly-identified elements that are reported to SPP RE (Self-Determined Notifications) have until July 1, 2016 to bring these facilities into compliance with NERC standards. Elements which are no longer part of the BES due to the definition change should also be reported to SPP RE to end compliance obligations. Additionally, Registered Entities may file Exception Requests to:
- Exclude elements that meet the bright-line definition, or
- Include elements which do not meet the bright-line of the definition.
BESnet is the NERC-wide reporting tool to file Self-Determined Notifications and Exception Requests.
Bulk power system owners, operators, and users located and/or operating in the SPP RE region that perform one or more of the functions below (as defined in the NERC Reliability Standards' Glossary of Terms with responsibilities designated by Reliability Standards and NERC Statement of Compliance Registry Criteria) must register with SPP RE for each function performed:
- Reliability Coordinator (RC)
- Balancing Authority (BA)
- Transmission Operator (TOP)
- Transmission Owners (TO)
- Generator Operators (GOP)
- Generator Owners (GO)
- Transmission Service Providers (TSP)
- Planning Authorities/Planning Coordinator (PA/PC)
- Transmission Planners (TP)
- Resource Planners (RP)
- Load-Serving Entities (LSE)
- Distribution Providers (DP)
Registered Entities seeking to register shall complete a SPP RE NERC Functional Registration Form (Registration Application) and Generator Assets Spreadsheet if applicable and submit it to SPP RE. Once the registration process has been completed, the entity's registration data shall be placed on the NERC compliance registry. The program, conducted by NERC and the Regional Entities, also confirms the functions and information for currently Registered Entities. When there is a change in a Registered Entity's functions, it shall submit a SPP RE NERC Functional Registration Form to the SPP RE for review and approval.
Registration Appeal Process and Risk-Based Registration
If a Registered Entity and SPP RE are unable to reach consensus on a registration decision, NERC has established a NERC-led, centralized review panel, comprised of a NERC lead with Regional Entity participants, to evaluate requests for (1) deactivation of, or decisions not to register, an entity that meets the Registry Criteria, (2) requests to add an entity that does not meet (i.e., falls below) the Registry Criteria, (3) disputes regarding the application of the Registry Criteria, and (4) requests for a sub-set list of applicable Reliability Standards.
Registered Entities are encouraged to work with SPP RE throughout the registration process, and to exhaust registration options with SPP RE before any NERC-led Panel Review Requests are sent to NERC.
The NERC-led Panel Review Process may be initiated by completing the NERC-led Review Request Form.
After completing the Review Request Form, follow the Guidance outlined in NERC “Risk-Based Registration Implementation Guidance”.
The link to the NERC Organization Registration webpage may be found here.
Entities registered as Reliability Coordinator (RC), Balancing Authority (BA), and Transmission Operator (TOP) are also required to be certified. The certification process is described in the ERO Certification Manual.
The NERC Organization Certification Process, detailed in Appendix 5A of the NERC Rules of Procedure, serves to ensure that the entity initially applying to be an RC, BA, or TOP has the tools, processes, training, and procedures in place to operate reliably. Such an entity will demonstrate the ability to remain compliant with all of the Reliability Standards applicable to the function(s) for which it wishes to perform by undergoing a Full Certification.
A Certification Review will be conducted when an already operating and certified RC, BA, or TOP makes certain changes. Examples of changes that usually constitute the need for a Certification Review include:
- Changes to a Registered Entity’s Footprint or operational challenges caused by the footprint change
- Organization restructuring that could impact the Bulk Power System reliability
- Relocation of the control center
- Changes to Registered Entity ownership requiring major operating procedure changes
- Significant changes to JRO/CFR assignments or changes to the agreements themselves
- Addition or removal of member JRO/CFR utilities or entities
- Complete replacement of SCADA/EMS system