The recently released North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) 2020 Annual Report finds that the past year was one of continued growth and transformation. A worldwide pandemic pushed to the forefront the criticality of the Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) Enterprise's collective mission and vision of assuring the reliability, resilience, and security of the North American bulk power system (BPS).
Over the course of 2020, COVID-19 highlighted the need for greater agility, increased collaboration, and expanding the ERO Enterprise mindset beyond compliance. The NERC quickly learned how to engage effectively with stakeholders to address important issues, such as the security solutions developed for the new Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program (CMEP) initiatives, consisting of the Align project and the Secure Evidence Locker, and continued its core monitoring function with the Regional Entities — working through approaches to move work traditionally performed onsite to being performed virtually.
The NERC's 2020 successes are due, in large part, to the collaboration that occurred across government and industry. Bringing CEOs together with government leadership, the NERC was able to cut through bureaucracy and focus high-level attention on critical needs and share situational awareness. Working closely with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the NERC was able to provide regulatory relief to industry so focus could remain on protecting workers and retooling operating protocols to maintain the reliability and security of the grid with a largely remote workforce.
"All of us who are part of the reliability and security ecosystem — the ERO Enterprise, industry, our government partners, and others, such as Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the North American Transmission Forum (NATF) — came together to protect our teammates and execute our mission on behalf of the North Americans who depend on a reliable supply of electricity to support their lives," said Jim Robb, the NERC's president and CEO. "While I think we will all be happy to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, we can all be very proud of what we have accomplished and what we have learned about collaboration and resilience."
The NERC 2020 Annual Report is available here.