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RF Protection Subcommittee Protection Subcommittee<p style="text-align:justify;">​The Protection Subcommittee held its Spring meeting at the RF offices on April 4-5, 2018.  They reviewed misoperation metrics for 2017 and the latest enhancements to and reporting procedures for the Misoperation Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS).  The group discussed when to report misoperations and operations under different scenarios.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In addition to excellent entity participation, we were pleased to have NERC in attendance to provide an overview of the analysis performed by the Inverter-Based Resource Performance Task Force, which was formed in response to loss of generation events in the Western Interconnection in 2017. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Future discussions will delve into the 2019 short circuit coordination effort, and the group’s next meetings will be a conference call on July 11, 2018 and a meeting on October 10-11, 2018 at the RF offices in Cleveland. The fall meeting will include a training session with SEL University on pilot protection.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Interested in joining the RF Protection Subcommittee? Its purpose is to provide a protection-related forum to identify, discuss, and address protective relay and control issues including both generator and transmission protection.  Membership is open to all RF registered Entities with technical expertise in system protection. The group meets quarterly, alternating conference calls with in-person meetings at our offices. Please contact <a href="">Bill Crossland </a>or <a href="">John Idzior </a>for more information. </p>aspx0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF3900242457EFB8B24247815D688C526CD44D0093A70D41E916EA45B5172B8FDD4B3EFA00F578CE634144CA46817471FA34146B932018-06-18T04:00:00.0000000Z
RF Critical Infrastructure Protection Committee Critical Infrastructure Protection Committee<p style="text-align:justify;">​The RF CIPC met April 25th in conjunction with the RF Spring Workshop. During the meeting, Bhesh Krishnappa of RF discussed an approach for developing cyber resilience metrics and requested volunteers from the CIPC to assist with further research. The remainder of the meeting was conducted as a pens-down open discussion among the attendees.</p>aspx0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF3900242457EFB8B24247815D688C526CD44D0093A70D41E916EA45B5172B8FDD4B3EFA00F578CE634144CA46817471FA34146B932018-06-18T04:00:00.0000000Z
EMS: Risk and Mitigations Risk and Mitigations<p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">​RF had the pleasure of substantially contributing to the recently published NERC Operating Committee Reference Document titled </span><a href=""><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">Risks and Mitigations </span></a><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">for Losing EMS Functions.  </span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">Developed by the EMS Working Group (EMSWG), this document discusses the risk associated with losing Energy Management System (EMS) functions and shares mitigation strategies used to reduce these risk when operators lose situational awareness tools.  The purpose of this Reference Document is to:</span></p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">identify and discuss the risk of losing EMS functions, </span></li><li><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">analyze the causes of EMS events reported through the ERO Event Analysis Process (EAP), and </span></li><li><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">share mitigation strategies to reduce these risks to EMS reliability.  </span></li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">The paper begins with a short summary of “What is an EMS and why is it important?”   It defines and explains the components of an EMS system including but not limited to State Estimation (SE), Contingency Analysis (CA), and Inter Control Center Protocol (ICCP).   Figures 1 and 2 provide illustrations showing a simplified EMS configuration and the inter-dependencies among EMS applications.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">The paper details the risks associated with losing EMS functions.    The most impactful EMS risk is the loss of System Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA).   Without SCADA, the operators do not have the ability to remotely operate devices, nor do they have the metered data points from the RTUs to monitor system stability.    Different challenges are presented for the loss of SE, CA, or ICCP such as the inability to determine non-metered data points, the impact of the worst credible contingency, and data from neighboring systems.   Even though the loss of SCADA had the highest number of occurrences over the four years analyzed, the RF region is seeing a significant trend of fewer SCADA outages, but a rise of more SE outages.</span></p><p> <img alt="2018 EMS Page 8.png" src="/about/Newsroom/PublishingImages/Pages/Forms/EditForm/2018%20EMS%20Page%208.png" style="margin:5px;width:661px;" /></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">The paper goes on to analyze the underlying reasons for these EMS outages.  The EAP process includes cause coding to determine the root and contributing causes of the EMS events. Four underlying categories were developed:</span></p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">Software failures,</span></li><li><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">Communication failures,</span></li><li><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">Facility outages, and</span></li><li><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">Maintenance outages<br></span></li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">These four categories are used to explain that there are different reasons for EMS outages, each involving different mitigating strategies.   If every outage was a software failure, the industry could point at the vendors and demand more resilient platforms, or work internally through their own IT department to ensure that the architecture for their EMS system (including databases and memory allocations) is suitable for their needs.   However, EMS outages have different causes.  Some outages are due to external modeling issues, while other outages reveal settings that need to be fine-tuned for convergence.   Sometimes the loss of a communications path or supply power to the control center (or data center) results in an EMS outage.   In other cases, a system upgrade or patch disables EMS functionality.   <br>Whatever the reason, all of these events are analyzed through the Events Analysis Process (EAP) and cause-coded.   During the cause-coding process, the entities provide details on the corrective actions and mitigation strategies to address the root and contributing causes (e.g., software upgrades, additional training, verifying the model, enhancing the loss of data procedure, or calibrating settings with the help of the vendor).</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">Mitigation strategies, specifically detective and corrective controls are discussed to explain how the loss of EMS functions has not directly led to the loss of generation, transmission lines, or customer load.  Possibly the biggest change from the early advent of EMS systems has been the overlapping coverage of situational awareness.   Reliability Coordinators and neighboring Transmission Operators and Balancing Authorities work together to help monitor member and neighboring systems during the loss of EMS functionality.   The paper highlights ten good-utility practices including manning substations and implementing conservative operations that help maintain reliability while EMS systems are being repaired.  </span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1">Finally, the reference document highlights the NERC Monitoring and Situational Awareness Conference where industry gathers annually to provide awareness of current and emerging EMS issues, exchange best practices, and collaborate with the vendors.   Past Lessons Learned from the EAP are shared, plus entities highlight some of their own best practices for EMS resiliency.   </span></p>aspx0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF3900242457EFB8B24247815D688C526CD44D0093A70D41E916EA45B5172B8FDD4B3EFA00F578CE634144CA46817471FA34146B932018-05-25T04:00:00.0000000Z
Large LSE Sector Election Results LSE Sector Election Results<div style="text-align:justify;"><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font></div><p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1"><span style="color:black;font-size:12pt;">We are pleased to announce that, on Friday April 27, 2017, the Large LSE Sector elected Jennifer Sterling to serve as its representative on the RF Board of Directors.<span style="">  </span>Ms. Sterling’s term will continue until the conclusion of the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Members.<span style="">  </span>Ms. </span><span style="color:black;font-size:12pt;">Sterling is the Vice President, NERC Compliance & Security, for Exelon.</span></span></p><div style="text-align:justify;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1" color="#000000" size="3"> </font></div><p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1" style="color:black;font-size:12pt;"> </span></p><div style="text-align:justify;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1" color="#000000" size="3"> </font></div><p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1" style="color:black;font-size:12pt;">Please join us in Congratulating Ms. Sterling.</span></p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font>aspx0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF3900242457EFB8B24247815D688C526CD44D0093A70D41E916EA45B5172B8FDD4B3EFA00F578CE634144CA46817471FA34146B932018-04-27T04:00:00.0000000Z
2018 CIP Themes and Lessons Learned CIP Themes and Lessons Learned<font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><p style="margin:6pt 0in 0pt;text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2"><font color="#000000">Despite efforts to stay ahead of security threats, entities are sometimes held back by deficiencies or limitations in their corporate structure, culture, or resources.  RF, WECC, and SERC have been working together to analyze the data in all three Regions around potential themes in these deficiencies and limitations.  </font></span></p><div style="text-align:justify;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2" color="#000000"> </font> </div><p style="margin:6pt 0in 0pt;text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2"><font color="#000000">The Regions, in coordination with NERC and multiple stakeholders from the Regions, are releasing a joint report identifying the themes and possible resolutions in order to help drive entities to continue to assess and strengthen their CIP programs and thus mitigate security risks.  The four themes the Regions have identified are:</font></span></p><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2" color="#000000"> </font><ul><li><div style="margin:0in 0.5in 0pt 35.25pt;line-height:normal;text-indent:-0.25in;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-4 ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2">disassociation between compliance and security; </span></div></li><font class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-4 ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2"></font><li><div style="margin:0in 0.5in 0pt 35.25pt;line-height:normal;text-indent:-0.25in;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-4 ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2">development of organizational silos; </span></div></li><font class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-4 ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2"></font><li><div style="margin:0in 0.5in 0pt 35.25pt;line-height:normal;text-indent:-0.25in;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-4 ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2">lack of awareness of an entity’s needs or deficiencies; and</span></div></li><font class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-4 ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2"></font><li><div style="margin:0in 0.5in 0pt 35.25pt;line-height:normal;text-indent:-0.25in;"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-2-4 ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2">inadequate tools or ineffective use of tools.</span></div></li></ul><p><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2">Click </span><a href=""><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2">here </span></a><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2">to view the full report.</span></p><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1" color="#000000" size="3"> </font><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1" color="#000000" size="3"> </font><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font>aspx0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF3900242457EFB8B24247815D688C526CD44D0093A70D41E916EA45B5172B8FDD4B3EFA00F578CE634144CA46817471FA34146B932018-04-12T04:00:00.0000000Z
RF Research Published in London School of Economics Handbook Research Published in London School of Economics Handbook<p>​RF is pleased to announce that a project led by Carl Dister, Chief Innovation Manager, has been published in the London School of Economics (LSE) Handbook of Research Methods in Complexity Science.</p><p><br> Inspired by NERC's Reliability Assurance Initiative in 2012, Carl began researching various methods around the world that aid in analyzing the reliability of complex systems like the grid. The resulting RF research is now one of the 26 chapters in the Handbook, alongside others by various academic researchers and practitioners in the field of complexity science around the world. Also called systems theory, complexity science merges social science with physics and the use of big data methods to resolve problems within complex systems. The book provides in-depth case studies meant to provide concrete examples of complexity science in everyday life scenarios, including organizations, infrastructures, higher education institutes, and music performance. </p><p><br> <strong>Q</strong><strong>:  How did RF become involved with this project?</strong><br></p><p> <strong>A</strong><strong>: </strong>During a comprehensive search for methods in analyzing reliability, a particular roadmap caught our attention. It turned out the author was a researcher right in Ohio, specifically Brian Castellani, a sociology professor at Kent State University's Ashtabula campus. Brian had created an interactive global complexity science roadmap that displayed applied research in complex systems over the last 100 years. The LSE was interested in putting a case study in their handbook that utilized the SACS toolkit, an intermediary instrument with an algorithm for researchers to model complex systems with web data. Brian Castellani is the main developer of the toolkit, and it had only been applied to the fields of public health and psychology. RF was interested in utilizing the toolkit for infrastructure, which we worked on, and the LSE selected it for inclusion in the Handbook.<br></p><p> <strong>Q</strong><strong>:  Tell us about your chapter in the book.</strong><br><strong></strong></p><p> <strong>A</strong><strong>:</strong>  Our work is featured in Chapter 14: Modeling Social Complexity in Infrastructures: A Case-based Approach to Improving Reliability and Resiliency. Along with another professor at Kent's Ashtabula campus, Dr. Rajeev Rajaram, Brian Castellani and I used the SACS toolkit method to investigate the root causes of reliability issues within the grid. I noticed that misoperations was a key risk in our region, and we had yet to make much headway in finding its root causes. From a systems theory perspective, it appeared that the root causes of the problem may go beyond the equipment itself. Considering rates for crime, physical and mental illnesses, unemployment, and other social factors both in our country and in our communities we can get an idea of other issues that may cause power industry workers, both in the field and in the office, to make mistakes at work.<br> </p><p><strong>Q</strong><strong>:  What impact do you think the work could have on electric reliability?</strong><br><strong></strong></p><p> <strong>A</strong>:  I think it can challenge us to dig a little deeper when we look at the causes of certain events.  Perhaps we could get to a point where we really evaluate the underpinning of human behavior in the workforce. Already, we are beginning to address Human Performance as a risk to the grid, with NERC hosting their Human Performance Conference last year and RF hosting one this year. We have identified that human behavior can cause problems, but we have yet to fully understand and address all the ways this can translate to potential risks to the grid. We are doing this more as we continue our use of management practices, which drive improved performance by focusing on human beings. Finally, the fact the book is out of London may help encourage the consideration of international perspectives and challenge us to think globally to address complex issues on our bulk electric system.  </p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font>aspx0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF3900242457EFB8B24247815D688C526CD44D0093A70D41E916EA45B5172B8FDD4B3EFA00F578CE634144CA46817471FA34146B932018-03-01T05:00:00.0000000Z
ReliabilityFirst is proud to release its 2017 Annual Report is proud to release its 2017 Annual Report<font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family:"arial",sans-serif;"><font color="#000000" size="3">The 2017 Annual Report is organized around the three core functions that guide ReliabilityFirst's work to ensure a reliable, secure, and resilient electric grid.  These three functions are (1) Risk Identification (identifying and prioritizing risks in our footprint), (2) Risk Mitigation (working with entities to ensure the mitigation of risks), and (3) Risk Communication (communicating risks and mitigation strategies to the ERO Enterprise, across our footprint, and/or to targeted entities).  The Annual Report also highlights ReliabilityFirst’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, and provides trending and metrics on risks and compliance challenges facing the industry.  We hope you enjoy the Annual Report and welcome your feedback.</font></span></p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family:"arial",sans-serif;"><font color="#000000" size="3"> </font></span></p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><span style="font-family:"arial",sans-serif;"><font color="#000000" size="3">Click <span class="ms-rteForeColor-2"><a href="/about/publicreports/Public%20Reports/2017%20Annual%20Report.pdf">here</a></span> to access the Annual Report</font></span></p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font>aspx0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF3900242457EFB8B24247815D688C526CD44D0093A70D41E916EA45B5172B8FDD4B3EFA00F578CE634144CA46817471FA34146B93

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