Statement on FERC's February Open Meeting Action

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At its monthly open meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) took action on two key reliability items. FERC released a notice of inquiry (NOI) on virtualization and cloud computing services. Separately, FERC ordered NERC to submit an informational filing on the schedule and plans for open standard development projects on these two topics.


The NOI focuses on the benefits and risks associated with virtualization and cloud computing for use in operating the Bulk Electric System (BES). It seeks comments on potential vulnerabilities of moving sensitive data to the cloud, methods to mitigate them and whether barriers to the use of these technologies exist in Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability.


The informational filing will include the schedule and plans for two NERC standard development projects, Project 2016-02 and Project 2019-02. NERC launched the standard development Project 2016-02 in response to Order No. 822. In addition to having addressed directives identified in Order No. 822, Project 2016-02 is now developing modifications to address stakeholder-identified issues, including clarifying the use of virtualization technologies.


Project 2019-02, initiated based on stakeholder-identified issues, addresses BES Cyber System Information Access Management. The proposed modifications seek to enhance the CIP standards by providing a secure path toward the use of third‐party data storage and analysis systems and by clarifying the protections expected when utilizing cloud services.


NERC will continue to work with FERC and stakeholders on Reliability Standards that advance the security of the bulk power system.


FERC Press Release

Posted On: 02/20/2020