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First Things RFirst: May 2024

First Things RFirst: May 2024

Expert analysis for a more reliable, secure and resilient electric grid, plus news and updates for RF stakeholders.


Note from the publisher

Welcome to the new-look version of the ReliabilityFirst newsletter, First Things RFirst! Expect to find the same great content here from our talented and knowledgeable staff as well as key updates you won’t want to miss. We hope this new format will make articles more shareable as well as easier to find, whether you are searching for something you previously read and want to reference again or you are looking for guidance on a topic in our Resource Center. If you want to share any feedback, feel free to send us a note here. Happy reading!


Insights & Analysis


Enforcement Explained: The challenges of managing vendor access

While services and responsibilities are structured differently at every entity in the ReliabilityFirst footprint, one similarity exists for a vast majority of entities, and that is reliance on vendors. This reliance on third parties can introduce challenges, especially when it comes to access management and revocation.

A person uses a security key card to enter a building

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The emerging risk of NOT using cloud services

In the ERO we are seeing forces that foretell an inevitable move to cloud-based services for many operational technology applications and services, and with this shift there will also be compliance concerns. This article dives into the efforts underway to identify the risks to reliability, security, and compliance that our industry must address before we can move forward in this area.

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Q&A: Amory Lovins shares his thoughts on grid transformation, energy efficiency, electricity load growth, supply chain and more

In February, ReliabilityFirst welcomed Amory Lovins, co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and adjunct professor at Stanford University, to Technical Talk with RF to discuss socio-economic impacts of the great energy transition. Lovins’ presentation spurred heavy engagement from our virtual audience and we ran out of time to get to all of our viewers’ questions. The questions in this piece were submitted by the audience and shared with Lovins, who offered his thoughts on them via email after the fact.

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Regulatory Affairs: Grid reliability news we’re tracking

The latest regulatory headlines we’re tracking include:

  • FERC and NERC staff present results of system performance review of January 2024 winter storms
  • Department of Energy releases Future of Resource Adequacy report
  • Department of Energy report highlights potential benefits and risks of using AI for critical energy infrastructure

Click here to read more


News & Updates


NERC issues Level 2 NERC Alert to industry

On April 23, NERC issued a Level 2 Alert 6 GHZ Communication Penetration in the Electric Industry to Distribution Provider (DP), Distribution Provider UFLS-Only (DP-UFLS), Generator Owner (GO), and Transmission Owner (TO).

The alert includes a series of questions that are intended to determine an initial extent of condition in assessing the depth of reliance on 6 GHz communications technology and the potential severity of interference.

NERC registered entities should note that only entities registered as the above mentioned will be able to view and respond to the alert in the NERC Alert System. However, the alert is public and may be viewed at the link above.

The alert has a response due date of July 8, 2024. Inquiries regarding the subject matter of this industry advisory should be directed to: NERC Alerts at


NERC posts Q1 2024 IBR Registration Initiative Update

NERC published its first quarterly update for the IBR Registration Initiative to the NERC website in April. This update outlines the many different activities associated with this important initiative and provides status updates related to the proposed revisions to the NERC Rules of Procedures (RoP), registration of IBRs, stakeholder outreach, standards, and provides links to valuable resources about inverter-based resources.

Click here to read more on the NERC site


RF Board of Directors holds Q1/Q2 meeting in Cleveland

RF held its first full board meeting of the year on May 2 at our offices in Cleveland. Elizabeth Cook, vice president of technical strategy at the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies and a consultant in grid modernization, provided an engaging keynote. Presentations from RF President and CEO Tim Gallagher, NERC Vice President of Compliance Assurance and Registration Howard Gugel, and others followed. The board also approved the RF’s 2025 Draft Business Plan and Budget for publication for 30-day industry comment.

The RF Board of Directors meets on May 2, 2024, at the RF Offices in Cleveland.

The RF Board of Directors meets on May 2, 2024, at the RF Offices in Cleveland.

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Upcoming Events


May 20, 2-3:30 p.m. EST | Technical Talk with RF

Join us for Tech Talk on May 20, 2024, at 2 p.m. EST. We’ll be focusing on Generator Owners (GOs) and Generator Operators (GOPs), with a presentation on risks to the grid, standards and mitigations from RF Compliance Monitoring Auditors Shon Austin and Ash Chappell. Then, DTE Energy will present on internal controls best practices for GOs and GOPs.

Event details


June 10, 2-3:30 p.m. EST | Technical Talk with RF

The June edition of Tech Talk will be one week early, on June 10, 2024 at 2 p.m. EST. We’ll hear from RF Managing Enforcement Counsel Tom Scanlon, who will give an overview of the findings highlighted in the latest Critical Infrastructure Protection Themes & Lessons Learned Report. The report aims to outline areas for improvement with the goal of driving continued progress toward our shared mission of ensuring a reliable power system.

Then RF’s Tim Fryfogle, Principal Engineer – Resources, will break down RF’s 2024 Summer Reliability Assessment, giving an overview of our resource adequacy projections in both the PJM and MISO portions of our footprint through the upcoming warm weather season.

Event details

Aug. 7, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | 10th Annual Protection System Workshop

This workshop will cover a diverse range of topics and discussions relative to Protection Systems tailored to the needs of substation and transmission maintenance personnel; protection and controls experts; operations control room staff, including tools support personnel for EMS and SCADA; and asset design groups (substation and transmission). It will include speakers from RF, industry subject matter experts, and others.

Event details


Aug. 8, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | 7th Annual Human Performance Workshop

This workshop will focus on practical application of human performance techniques and concepts for front-line activities that attendees can retain and use in transmission reliability related work areas such as operations, asset management, design, protection, maintenance, and others. The ideas, suggestions and stories shared during this highly interactive, free event are especially relevant for human resources professionals; asset management groups; internal control champions and specialists; company trainers; and leadership and others interested in these topics.

Event details


Sept. 16-18 | Fall Reliability & Security Summit

Registration is now open for the 2024 Fall Reliability & Security Summit. Join us in Indianapolis, starting with our annual Awards Ceremony and reception on the evening of Monday, Sept. 16, followed by a full day of panels and presentations on Sept. 17, and additional presentations and industry committee meetings on the morning of Sept. 18.

We’ll be diving into the intersection of energy policy with reliability and security, as we navigate the challenges of a changing generation mix. We’ll have speakers from state government, including an energy policy legislator panel featuring:

  • Maryland State Sen. Brian Feldman
  • Delaware State Sen. Stephanie Hansen
  • Indiana State Sen. Eric Koch
  • Ohio State Rep. Dick Stein

Coordination, collaboration, and cooperation are critical to this great energy transition, and we will also have speakers from industry, academia and ReliabilityFirst. The full agenda will be posted to our website when available. We hope to see you in Indianapolis!

Event details

To explore our full calendar of upcoming events, click here.