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Reliability Standards

Reliability standards are criteria and standards, including an amendment to a standard or criterion, relating to the reliable operation of the integrated power system established, and declared in force by a standards authority, such as the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC).

The IESO is a registered entity with the NERC, a full member of NPCC and and an active participant in the North-American electric reliability arena. In particular the IESO is involved in the ongoing development of standards and criteria by NERC and NPCC.

The goal of this involvement is to produce clearly written and implementable standards that are in the best interests of Ontario and the North American electricity industry in general.

NERC Reliability Standards Development Process

NERC, acting as the Electric Reliability Organization (ERO), has established an open and transparent standards development process that governs the development, modification or withdrawal of electric reliability standards that apply to the bulk power system in North America.

This FERC-approved, ANSI-accredited process allows owners, operators and users of the bulk power system, to participate in the development of reliability standards by reviewing, contributing comments and voting to approve these draft standards. For more on this process, see the latest version of NERCís Standard Processes Manual on the NERC website.

NPCC Reliability Standards Development Process

NPCC has the authority to develop reliability criteria and requirements that are more stringent and more specific than the corresponding NERC reliability standards requirements.

These criteria and requirements are stated in regional standards and Regional Reliability Directories (Directories), which are developed through a process that is similar in many ways to the NERC standards development process. Visit the NPCC website for more information on the NPCC standard development processes.

OEB Review Process

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has legislative authority to review reliability standards approved by standards authorities and make orders preventing the operation of a standard in Ontario by referring (or remanding) the standard back to the standards authority.

In addition, the OEB could refer a standard back to the standards authority in the interest of coordination with other jurisdictions.

Visit the OEB Review Process page for more information.

Milestones in Reliability Standard Development and Lifecycle

  • NERC Board of Trustees (BOT) adopts the standard
  • The OEB Review Process starts
  • The OEB Review Process ends
  • The standard mandatory enforcement date in Ontario is determined
  • The standard inactive date in Ontario is determined

Milestones in Reliability Standard Development and Lifecycle v3.0 (Updated: December 19, 2013)

The mandatory enforcement dates of NERC reliability standards and NPCC criteria are governed by Chapter 5, sections 1.2.6 and 1.2.7 of the Market Rules.

Chapter 5, section 1.2.6 of the Market Rules states:

Subject to section 1.2.7, reliability standards established by a standards authority that have not otherwise been stayed or revoked and referred back to the standards authority for further consideration by the Ontario Energy Board shall be declared in force in Ontario: when the reliability standards are declared in force in the United States or, for NPCC reliability criteria, when declared in force by NPCC; and after the expiry of the period for initiating a review before the Ontario Energy Board and the conclusion of any such review;

and shall cease to be in force in Ontario when they cease to be in force in the United States. For certainty, the operation of any reliability standard that had been in force in Ontario but had not been declared in force in the United States when this rule amendment went into effect shall be stayed until such reliability standard has been declared in force in the United States.

Chapter 5, section 1.2.7 of the Market Rules states:

Notwithstanding section 1.2.6, where a reliability standard approved by NERC failed to achieve approval by the NERC registered ballot body as specified in NERCís Rules of Procedure, the reliability standard will not be in force in Ontario unless and until the IESO determines, in consultation with affected market participants, that all or part of the reliability standard is in force in Ontario. The IESO shall publish notice of its determination and where applicable, such reliability standard will come into effect in accordance with section 1.2.6.

Ontarioís engagement in reliability standards development process

The IESO is actively involved in the drafting, development and revision of reliability standards, particularly those of greater relevance to Ontario. However, the IESO currently has one vote in a ballot pool of many North American industry players.

Although we have been successful in getting Ontarioís position heard by submitting comments and participating on standards drafting teams, we recommend that Ontario market participants participate in the standards development process, especially in the balloting, given the volume of voting potential in other jurisdictions.

To participate in balloting of NERC standards, market participants must register in NERCís Registered Ballot Body on the NERC website.

To participate in the development of NPCC regional standards, Ontario market participants must become members of NPCC.

To help market participants become more engaged in the development of reliability standards that could have an impact on Ontarioís electricity industry, the IESO established the Reliability Standards Standing Committee (RSSC), which provides a forum to discuss and develop consensus comments on new and developing reliability standards.

Visit the RSSC page for more information.

NERC Reliability Standards Related Implementation Documents

The IESO, the Planning Coordinator, Transmission Planner, Resource Planner, Reliability Coordinator, Transmission Operator, Balancing Authority and Transmission Service Provider for Ontario, has developed methodologies and implementation documents as required for compliance to various NERC Reliability Standards, including the following:

Available Transfer Capability Implementation Document
Transfer Capability Methodology
Transmission Reliability Margin Implementation Document

The IESO will revise and re-publish those implementation documents as necessary. Before implementing a new or revised implementation document, the IESO will notify required entities by email.

Any concerns with the documents or requests to get access to IESOís data related to those documents should be submitted to The IESO will address the concerns or provide the requested data, subject to the conditions specified in the reliability standards, within the allowed period.

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