Status: This project is currently Under Consideration for Development.
Purpose/Industry Need: The current definition of System Operator is influenced by the organization of the industry prior to electric industry restructuring, separation of functions under FERC order 889, and the development of the Functional Model. The existing definition of System Operator includes the real-time operating personnel who work for Generator Operators as well as those real-time operating personnel who work for the Reliability Coordinator, Transmission Operator, and Balancing Authority. This existing definition dates to the era where the generator dispatcher sat in the same control room as the transmission operator or at a minimum in a control center down the hall from the Transmission Operator.
NERC's Functional Model generally defines the responsibilities of the Generator Operator as "operat(ing) generating unit(s) and perform(ing) the functions of supplying energy and reliability related services." Given this limited scope, the Generator Operator (GOP) cannot be considered as operating on the same level as the Reliability Coordinator, Transmission Operator or Balancing Authority when it comes to real time information on the status of the BES. The GOP does not monitor and control the BES, rather the GOP only monitors and controls the generators that it operates and relays information to other operating entities.
This project proposes revising the existing definition of System Operator to remove the inclusion of "Generator Operator." This change would avoid the confusion caused by the use of the term "System Operator" in reference to the real-time operating personnel who work for Generator Operators. Inaccurate definitions results in misconception of responsibilities and expectations which can negatively impact reliability.
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