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Regulatory Update

NERC Calls for New Approach to Reliability Planning Due to Gas Supply Disruption Risks

Steve Persutti | December 14, 2017

NERC has released a report concluding that the increasing interdependence of the power system and the natural gas delivery system has resulted in new electric reliability risks.

NERC’s Special Assessment: Potential Bulk Power System Impacts Due to Severe Disruptions on the Natural Gas System notes that as reliance on natural gas to meet electric generation requirements increases, additional planning and operational measures must be considered to better mitigate power system reliability risks.

Recommended Actions

Utilities should consider the loss of key natural gas infrastructure in their planning studies.

Utilities should develop criteria to evaluate large-scale power delivery system reliability impacts due to loss of natural gas pipelines, LNG, compressor stations, or natural gas storage facilities in the extreme event list as detailed in the Transmission Planning NERC Reliability Standard (TPL-001-4). The criteria should also consider capacity and energy limitations, including seasonal replenishment requirements of gas storage facilities. Pipeline systems should be planned with the equivalent of N-1 contingency planning to assure deliverability of natural gas in the event of a pipeline, LNG terminal, or gas storage facility outage.

Owners and operators of dual fuel capable generators must ensure operability on their secondary fuel.

Generator Owners and Operators of units with dual fuel capability should maintain and regularly test fuel switching operational capabilities and back up fuel inventories at units to ensure that dual fuel capable units provide adequate resilience in the event of a natural gas outage.

Reliability Guidelines 

The NERC Operating Committee is drafting a Reliability Guideline on Gas and Electrical Operational Coordination that identifies operational practices to increase power system resilience and adaptability during extreme conditions impacting gas supply. The guideline will provide insights on establishing gas and electric industry coordination mechanisms; training, and testing; establishing and maintaining open communication channels; and best practices for maintaining situational awareness. It will also provide examples of proactive measures that should be taken to prepare for the potential of adverse conditions on the pipeline system. It is expected to be on the NERC website in the near future.

For more information on the report’s key findings and the implications for reliability planning and NERC compliance, please download TRC’s Regulatory Update.

Steve Persutti

Steve Persutti is TRC’s Senior Vice President of Business Development. He has 25 years of comprehensive management experience within the energy industry and a consistent and successful record in strategic business planning, productivity and efficiency improvements, systems design and implementation, and employee collaboration. His areas of expertise include engineering management, project management, EPC project management, construction management, financial analysis and customer service. Steve has an M.B.A in Finance from the University of Hartford and a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Connecticut. Contact Steve at

Jeff Wiese

Jeff Wiese is Vice President and National Practice Leader for TRC’s Pipeline Integrity Services.He has over 25 years of industry experience. Prior to joining TRC, Wiese served as Associate Administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), where he collaborated across the Department of Transportation, with Executive Branch agencies, Congressional committees and oversight offices, pipeline companies, major pipeline trade organizations, state government representatives, public and private sector emergency responders, and public safety and environmental advocates. Throughout his 17-year career with PHMSA, Jeff managed a range of programs, including strategic direction; personnel and budget development and oversight; data-driven and risk-based regulatory inspection and enforcement; research programs; land-use management practices; excavation damage prevention; oil spill preparedness and response; continuity of operations and government activities and two Federal Advisory Committees. Jeff  is an active member of the Common Ground Alliance, where he serves as a member of the Board. He holds a B.A. in General Science from Grinnell College and an M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. Contact him at

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