Workshop shows how co-op works to maintain regulatory compliance

EnergyLines July 2019


Employees from member cooperatives recently attended an energy reliability workshop at Hoosier Energy’s headquarters to learn how the generation and transmission electric cooperative works with various regulatory entities to meet compliance standards.


Workshops like this help Hoosier Energy show how the Generation and Transmission electric cooperative is working with its members to communicate the compliance plan.


Reliability compliance standards include an audit process that takes place every three years. This has been in place since 2007 and is enforced by Reliability First which is responsible for the reliability and security of the grid in 14 states. A separate audit process is in place for cyber assets which is also on a three-year rotation.


These standards include Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) capacity criteria. The MISO, a member-based organization that ensures reliable, least-cost delivery of energy located in Carmel, Ind., ensures there is enough capacity and energy available on the grid. This includes reserve capacity. The MISO implements the emergency plan as required if there is the need to reduce system-wide demand.


“MISO has never had a load shed event but that is a risk we take seriously. We work hard to be ready to show that we are prepared for such an event to meet compliance requirements,” said Vice President of Corporate Engineering Dave Sandefur.


The MISO reviews energy need and compares that with available resources and system conditions. Based on those variables, it then determines what actions might need to take place to maintain grid reliability. Actions could be as simple as going into a conservative maintenance mode or adding more generation onto the system, if available. However, voluntary load conservation requests or in the extreme, actually shedding load, is a real possibility. Any action required will be communicated to Hoosier Energy.


A major component of this plan is the capacity emergency portal. This portal is where co-ops are notified of capacity emergencies and will also learn if load needs to be shed as directed by the MISO. Notifications are connected to emergency events that detail the steps member cooperatives need to take. This includes prepared news releases that are automatically sent to local media outlets.


Messages are not prepared for social media channels. Hoosier Energy Communications Manager Greg Seiter detailed the best way to communicate with member-consumers using these channels.


“I encourage you to have representation of these events throughout your social media channels. If you do post, be sure to have someone available to monitor and respond to your members,” said Seiter.


This annual training is key in maintaining consistent messaging throughout the member systems and helps to ensure that Hoosier Energy’s capacity emergency plans will work when and if they are called upon.


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