Mandatory and Enforceable Reliability Standards
Reliability standards are intended to ensure the integrity of the interconnected bulk electric system. The recognized standards authorities, the
North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and
the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC), define the reliability requirements for planning and operating the North American bulk electric system.
Compliance with reliability standards has always been mandatory and enforceable in Ontario through the Market Rules. In 2007, NERC was certified as the Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) charged with developing and enforcing reliability standards in the
U.S. Energy Policy Act (EPAct). NERC was also
recognized as the international ERO by the Ontario Government. Like the United States, other Canadian provinces issued legislation to adopt mandatory and enforceable NERC reliability standards.
MOUs with NERC and NPCC
NERC reliability standards and NPCC criteria are adopted and enforced in Ontario according to the arrangement established under:
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Independent Electricity System Operator, North American Electric Reliability Corporation and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council Inc.
Memorandum of Understanding between Ontario Energy Board and North American Electric Reliability Corporation
The Ontario reliability standards framework has been designed and is implemented according to the mutual understandings set out in these MOUs, which includes:
IESO's Role in Standards Development
The IESO is a registered entity with the NERC, a full member of NPCC, and has worked to comply with the standards and criteria developed by NERC and NPCC. The IESO is given the legislated mandate by the
Electricity Act, 1998, to actively engage in the development of reliability standards. It is actively involved in the ongoing development of standards and criteria by NERC and NPCC, which are essential to maintain and improve the reliability of the North American bulk electric system.
NERC Reliability Standards Development Process
NERC, acting as the ERO, has established an open and transparent standards development process, which governs the development, modification or withdrawal of electric reliability standards that apply to the bulk electric system in North America.
This ANSI-accredited process allows owners, operators and users of the bulk power system, to participate in the development of reliability standards by reviewing, contributing comments and voting to approve these draft standards. For more on this process, see the latest version of NERC’s Standard Processes Manual on the
If approved, these standards are filed with the relevant government authorities for the regulatory reviews applicable to each jurisdiction. Within seven days of receiving notification which will trigger the
OEB review process from a standards authority, the IESO will post notification on its website.
NPCC Criteria Development Process
NPCC has the authority to develop reliability criteria that are more stringent and more specific than the corresponding NERC reliability standards requirements. These criteria and requirements are stated in regional standards and regional reliability directories, which are developed through a process that is similar in many ways to the NERC standards development process. Visit the
NPCC website for more information on the NPCC standard development processes.
Reliability Standards Standing Committee
The IESO is actively involved in the drafting, development and revision of reliability standards, particularly for those of greater relevance to Ontario. To provide an opportunity for market participants to become more engaged in the development of reliability standards that could have an impact on Ontario's electricity industry, the IESO established the Reliability Standards Standing Committee (RSSC), which provides a forum to discuss and develop consensus comments on new and developing reliability standards.