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NERC Board Focuses on Enhanced Effectiveness, Efficiency

Dec. 5, 2022
The Board approved NERC's 2023 Work Plan Priorities, which strive to keep NERC at the forefront of the transformation.

Recognizing that the energy transformation requires effective tools to manage rapidly emerging reliability risks, NERC's Board of Trustees focused on innovations to make NERC more efficient and effective. More than 150 stakeholders attended the last Board meeting of 2022, only the second in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic. In his president's remarks, Jim Robb looked ahead to the coming years and challenges on the horizon for industry.

"We are living in extraordinary times with the transformation of our industry occurring at a rapid rate. We are replacing well-understood, large-scale generation with a new resource mix that has very different risk characteristics," Robb said.

"Managing the risks of a transforming system in an orderly way is the central priority for reliability."

To that end, the Board approved NERC's 2023 Work Plan Priorities, which strive to keep NERC at the forefront of the transformation. The work plan, which looks at priorities and resources over a three-year horizon, focuses on four key areas:

  • Tackling the energy challenges presented by the changing resource mix and climate change-driven weather events.
  • Moving the needle on mitigating key security risks through the Electricity
  • Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) and ERO program areas.
  • Creating more agility in programs and key management processes.
  • Investing in the ERO's sustainability, security, and risk reduction.

"As I've said before, we can no longer plan year-to-year and must better clarify the initiatives that are 'must do' and what capabilities are needed to manage them if we are to be successful. This plan does that. We are pleased with FERC's approval of the ERO Enterprise budgets and will be responsive to the directive for more information related to the E-ISAC," Robb said. "We acknowledge that each these areas will take tremendous focus. We are ready for the challenge, and work is already underway in a number of areas."

During the Member Representatives Committee (MRC) meeting, Board Chair Ken DeFontes highlighted a recent Board strategic session that focused on building a more effective and efficient governance process, which Board member Suzanne Keenan detailed in the Corporate Governance and Human Resources Committee (CGHRC) report.

"We listened to feedback from industry on enhancing our engagement, effectiveness and efficiency. We want to increase our collaboration efforts with a broad stakeholder community without creating a new process or framework that adds additional costs and staff," DeFontes said. "Board engagement with all stakeholders is valuable, and our relationship with the MRC is very important."

The Board meeting calendar was restructured to feature three in-person meetings a year. The meetings will be held in February, May and August — with the May meeting being in-person for the Board and MRC, and virtual for all other stakeholders. The in-person meetings will also have more significant breaks and longer receptions to allow more time for the Board to engage with stakeholders. The November meeting will be replaced with a streamlined virtual meeting, as needed, for the Board to take care of any governance actions in December.

These key adjustments, along with others outlined by the CGHRC, will allow the Board more effective engagement with the stakeholder community; more efficient, effective and agile governance processes; and more effective use of Board and stakeholder time, DeFontes said.

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