The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is an international regulatory
authority to evaluate reliability of the bulk power system in North America. NERC
develops and enforces Reliability Standards; assesses adequacy annually via a 10-year
forecast and winter and summer forecasts; monitors the bulk power system; and educates,
trains, and certifies industry personnel. NERC is the electric reliability organization
in North America, subject to oversight by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) and governmental authorities in Canada. NERC's mission therefore is to ensure
the reliability of the North American bulk power system.
As of June 18, 2007, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted
NERC the legal authority to enforce Reliability Standards with all U.S. users, owners,
and operators of the bulk power system, and made compliance with those standards
mandatory and enforceable. In Canada, NERC presently has memorandums of understanding
in place with provincial authorities in Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Québec,
and Saskatchewan, and with the Canadian National Energy Board. NERC standards are
mandatory and enforceable in Ontario and New Brunswick as a matter of provincial
law. NERC has an agreement with Manitoba Hydro, making reliability standards mandatory
for that entity, and Manitoba has recently adopted legislation setting out a framework
for standards to become mandatory for users, owners, and operators in the province.
In addition, NERC has been designated as the “electric reliability organization”
under Alberta’s Transportation Regulation, and certain reliability standards have
been approved in that jurisdiction; others are pending. NERC and NPCC have been
recognized as standards setting bodies by the Régie de l’énergie of Québec, and
Québec has the framework in place for reliability standards to become mandatory.
Nova Scotia and British Columbia also have a framework in place for reliability
standards to become mandatory and enforceable. NERC is working with the other governmental
authorities in Canada to achieve equivalent recognition.
NERC assesses and reports on the reliability and adequacy of the North American
bulk power system divided into the eight Regional Areas as shown on the map below.
The users, owners, and operators of the bulk power system within these areas account
for virtually all the electricity supplied in the United States, Canada, and a portion
of Baja California Norte, Mexico.
The members of the regional entities come from all segments of the electric
industry: investor-owned utilities; federal power agencies; rural electric cooperatives;
state, municipal and provincial utilities; independent power producers; power marketers;
and end-use customers.
With that responsibility, NERC and its stakeholders require accurate data provided
in a timely fashion to assess projected bulk power system reliability as well as
analyze its ongoing performance and reliability risk for individual, regional, and
interconnection‐wide planning. The GADS database is vital to support NERC in its
assessment of bulk power system reliability.
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