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Rob Eckenrod Named Vice President and General Counselhttps://www.rfirst.org/rob-eckenrod-named-vp-and-general-counselRob Eckenrod Named Vice President and General Counsel<p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2">ReliabilityFirst (RF) is pleased to announce that Rob Eckenrod has been selected to assume the role of Vice President and General Counsel.  Rob most recently served as the Chief Compliance Officer for the PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM).  </span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2">In his capacity as Chief Compliance Officer, Mr. Eckenrod was responsible for implementing and maintaining PJM's enterprise-wide compliance management and enforcement program as well as providing legal and policy advice and advocacy on behalf of PJM for all reliability compliance functions. Mr. Eckenrod accomplished this via overseeing multiple compliance business units and chairing PJM's compliance committee that reported directly to the PJM Board.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2">Tim Gallagher, RF's President and Chief Executive Officer, stated “I am delighted to be adding Rob to the RF team.  We are very fortunate to find someone with Rob's experience, talent, and knowledge of both the RF mission and our industry partners."</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2">In addition to his successful tenure at PJM, Mr. Eckenrod is a former Pennsylvania public utility rate prosecutor and was also an advisor to a former Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner.</span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2">Mr. Eckenrod will assume his new role at RF's headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio January 7, 2019.  We look forward to having Mr. Eckenrod join the RF leadership team.</span></p>aspx0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF3900242457EFB8B24247815D688C526CD44D0093A70D41E916EA45B5172B8FDD4B3EFA00F578CE634144CA46817471FA34146B932018-11-20T05:00:00.0000000Z
Jason Blake Named SERC President and Chief Executive Officerhttps://www.rfirst.org/jason-blake-named-serc-presidend-and-chief-executive-officerJason Blake Named SERC President and Chief Executive Officer<font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><p>ReliabilityFirst (RF) announces that Vice President and General Counsel, Jason Blake, will be stepping down from his current position in order to assume the role as the President and Chief Executive Officer for the SERC Reliability Corporation.  </p><div style="text-align:justify;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2" color="#000000"> </font> </div><p>Tim Gallagher, RF’s President and Chief Executive Officer, stated “both I and the entire RF organization are extremely pleased that Jason has been chosen for such an important position.  This is a great move, not just for SERC, but for the entire ERO Enterprise.  Jason is eminently qualified to lead SERC and I look forward to working with him in his new capacity and continuing the strong relationship that we have built over the years with our friends at SERC.  Our pride in seeing him named CEO is matched only by our sadness in seeing such a great friend and valued colleague leave the RF family.  I thank Jason for his vital and strong contributions to our success over the years; he certainly leaves huge shoes to fill.”  Lisa Barton, Chair of the RF Board of Directors, added “on behalf of the Board of Directors, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for Jason’s outstanding leadership and lasting contributions to the organization.”</p><div style="text-align:justify;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2" color="#000000"> </font> </div><p>RF is in the process of initiating a search for a new Vice President and General Counsel.  Until the position is filled, Megan Gambrel, Managing Legal & Regulatory Counsel, will serve as Interim Vice President and General Counsel, effective November 15, 2018.</p><div style="text-align:justify;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2" color="#000000"> </font> </div><p>During his successful tenure at RF, Blake played a major leadership role in guiding RF through its start-up phase into a sustainable risk-based organization that is focused on ensuring the reliability and security of the Bulk-Power System.  Blake commented, “it has been an enormous privilege to have helped lead RF during such an important, transformative period.  I am extremely proud of the work we have accomplished and grateful for having had the opportunity to be a part of the RF team and its important mission.”  Blake concluded, “I want to thank the Board of Directors, Tim and the leadership team, and the entire RF staff for their trust, partnership, and friendship throughout my career at RF.”</p><div style="text-align:justify;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1 ms-rteFontSize-2" color="#000000"> </font> </div><p>Blake will assume his new role at SERC’s headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 15, 2018.</p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font>aspx0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF3900242457EFB8B24247815D688C526CD44D0093A70D41E916EA45B5172B8FDD4B3EFA00F578CE634144CA46817471FA34146B932018-10-22T04:00:00.0000000Z
RTO SECTOR AND SUPPLIER SECTOR ELECTIONS RESULTShttps://www.rfirst.org/2018-supplier-and-rto-sector-election-(2)RTO SECTOR AND SUPPLIER SECTOR ELECTIONS RESULTS<font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font><p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;text-align:justify;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1" color="#000000" size="3">We are pleased to announce the election results for the RF Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) and Supplier Sectors.  This morning, the RTO Sector elected Jennifer Curran and the Supplier Sector elected Lou Oberski as their respective representatives on the RF Board of Directors.</font></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;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1" color="#000000" size="3"> </font></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;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1" color="#000000" size="3">Ms. Curran is the Vice President, System Planning for Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO); and Mr. Oberski is the Director of NERC Reliability Compliance and NERC Policy for Dominion Energy.  Each Director will hold office for a three year term beginning immediately after the Annual Meeting of Members on November 29, 2018.</font></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;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1" color="#000000" size="3"> </font></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;"><font class="ms-rteFontFace-1" color="#000000" size="3">Please join us in congratulating Ms. Curran and Mr. Oberski.</font></p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font>aspx0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF3900242457EFB8B24247815D688C526CD44D0093A70D41E916EA45B5172B8FDD4B3EFA00F578CE634144CA46817471FA34146B932018-08-08T04:00:00.0000000Z
RF Protection Subcommitteehttps://www.rfirst.org/rf-protection-subcommitteeRF 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="mailto:%20billcrossland@rfirst.org">Bill Crossland </a>or <a href="mailto:%20%20john.idzior@rfirst.org">John Idzior </a>for more information. </p>aspx0x010100C568DB52D9D0A14D9B2FDCC96666E9F2007948130EC3DB064584E219954237AF3900242457EFB8B24247815D688C526CD44D0093A70D41E916EA45B5172B8FDD4B3EFA00F578CE634144CA46817471FA34146B932018-06-18T04:00:00.0000000Z
RF Critical Infrastructure Protection Committeehttps://www.rfirst.org/rf-critical-infrastructure-protection-committeeRF 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 Mitigationshttps://www.rfirst.org/ems-risk-and-mitigationsEMS: 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="https://www.nerc.com/comm/OC/ReferenceDocumentsDL/Risks_and_Mitigations_for_Losing_EMS_Functions_Reference_Document_20171212.pdf"><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
2018 CIP Themes and Lessons Learnedhttps://www.rfirst.org/2018-themes-and-lessons-learned2018 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="https://www.rfirst.org/about/publicreports/Public%20Reports/2018%20CIP%20Themes%20and%20Lessons%20Learned.pdf"><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
ReliabilityFirst is proud to release its 2017 Annual Reporthttps://www.rfirst.org/reliabilityfirst-is-proud-to-release-its-2017-annual-reportReliabilityFirst 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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