Positive NPCC audit reflects ISO-NE’s commitment to meeting reliability standards

A strong culture of compliance pays off in reduced audit time and the protection of system reliability

The Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) has recognized ISO New England for areas of excellence in its 2015 Operations and Planning Compliance Audit, which assessed ISO compliance with 38 standards and 124 requirements related to power system reliability. The NPCC Audit Team lauded the company’s operating performance over the past three years, and concluded that they had no improvement recommendations or areas of concern for the ISO. The NPCC Audit Team noted in their report that the ISO “takes compliance very seriously and understands the relationship compliance has to system reliability.” 

ISO performance

The audit spanned the period of March 16, 2012 (the day after the last NPCC audit concluded) through June 10, 2015. The NPCC Audit Team cited the following areas of excellence:

  • The ISO’s development of new control room tools in response to prior NPCC recommendations—e.g., specialized monitoring tools for reactive reserves
  • How the ISO’s Operations Performance, Training, and Integration team performs a variety of functions and has diverse skills, which enable them to develop training more proactively

Additionally, the NPCC Audit Team praised ISO subject matter experts in System Planning, System Operations, Reliability & Operations Compliance, and Facilities, as well as the ISO’s preparation, thorough answers to questions, and responsiveness to data requests. NPCC reduced its on-site visit from a scheduled 4.5 days to 2 days because the audit team was able to conduct much of the audit ahead of time.

NPCC noted one minor item as a possible violation relating to the timeliness of ISO posting an Emergency Energy Alert to the Reliability Coordinator Information System associated with resolving a local capacity deficiency event (Emergency Preparedness and Operations Standard EOP-002-3.1, Capacity and Energy Emergencies, Requirement R8). The ISO is awaiting the NPCC’s final determination.

About NPCC audits

NPCC is one of eight regional entities in North America that monitor and enforce compliance with federal and regional power system reliability standards. At least every three years, NPCC performs a rigorous audit of the ISO for compliance with NERC standards. Preparation is labor intensive. It took over three dozen ISO employees to help prepare for the 2015 audit, with some operations and compliance staff dedicated to the effort for several months.

Learn more about additional NPCC reviews and event analysis, as well as reliability standards in Reliability Standards: Development and Compliance.

Inside ISO New England