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FERC Issues NOPR on Definition of “Bulk Electric System”

On March 18, 2010, FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) in Docket No. RM09-18 in which it proposes to direct NERC to revise its definition of the term “Bulk Electric System” to include all electric transmission facilities with a rating of 100 kV or above and eliminate the currently-allowed discretion of a Regional Entity to define bulk electric system within its system without NERC or Commission oversight. The Commission proposes that a Regional Entity must seek and obtain NERC and Commission-approval before it exempts a transmission facility rated at 100 kV or above from compliance with mandatory Reliability Standards. In addition, the Commission proposes to allow Regional Entities to develop transition plans that allow a reasonable period of time for affected entities within that region to achieve compliance with respect to facilities that are subject to mandatory Reliability Standards for the first time. Comments on the Commission’s NOPR are due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. To read the Commission’s NOPR, click here.