NBSO joins North American regulatory authority to enhance electric grid reliability (09/04/02)

NB 419

April 2, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government has signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with three other organizations to improve the reliability of the bulk power system in this region. The New Brunswick bulk power system includes high-voltage transmission facilities, particularly the 345 kV lines, whose operations may affect neighbouring power systems.

The MOUs were signed by the Department of Energy; the New Brunswick System Operator (NBSO); the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and the Northeast Power Co-ordinating Council Inc. (NPCC).

With the proclamation of the Electricity Act in 2004, New Brunswick became one of the first provinces to introduce mandatory requirements for bulk power system reliability. Under the act, administered by the Department of Energy, the NBSO is responsible for adopting and enforcing reliability standards applicable to owners, users and operators of the New Brunswick bulk power system.

NERC has more than 100 reliability standards; they are mandatory and enforceable for all users, owners, and operators of the bulk power system in the United States. While the degree of enforceability varies among the provinces, all of them have taken measures to ensure reliability standards apply to appropriate entities in their jurisdictions.

"Through this agreement, the NBSO continues to fulfil its objectives under the act in regards to participating with other authorities in the development of standards and criteria relating to the reliability of transmission systems," said Sylvain Gignac, president and chief executive officer of NBSO. "Through NERC standards, the NBSO ensures that the bulk power system in New Brunswick, which forms part of the greater northeastern grid, is operated and planned in a reliable manner."

NERC is a government-certified international regulatory authority for the reliability of the bulk power system in North America. It develops and enforces compliance with reliability standards, assesses the reliability of the bulk power system, and analyzes system outages. NERC has delegated certain regulatory functions in the areas of regional standards development and monitoring and assessment of compliance and enforcement to NPCC for implementation in northeastern North America.

"As we move forward in developing our energy hub, we work closely with the NBSO to ensure that the integrity and reliability of the grid continues," said Energy Minister Jack Keir. "Our MOU with the NBSO and NERC is testimony to this."

Under the MOUs, New Brunswick recognizes the role of NERC as the electric reliability organization for North America. Furthermore, New Brunswick will adopt and implement NERC and NPCC standards and compliance processes. The parties agree to work closely to address reliability issues in the region and promote uniform standards and consistent enforcement across the integrated, international bulk power system.

"We are pleased to join with NBSO in their continuing efforts to enhance reliability in New Brunswick," said Rick Sergel, president and chief executive officer of NERC. "The recent MOUs are evidence of NBSO's and the Department of Energy's ongoing leadership in safeguarding the North American electric grid from widespread outages."

The MOUs may be viewed at


EDITOR'S NOTE: Background information about the New Brunswick System Operator, the North American Electric Reliability Corp. and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council follows. MEDIA CONTACTS: Bonnie Doyle, communications, Department of Energy, 506-658-2410, e-mail,; Jean Finn, vice-president, development and governmental affairs, New Brunswick System Operator, 506-458-3139, e-mail,; Kelly Ziegler, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, 609-524-0621, e-mail,

Background information

The New Brunswick System Operator (NBSO) is an independent not-for-profit statutory corporation which was created Oct. 1, 2004 upon proclamation of the Electricity Act. Its primary responsibilities are to ensure the adequacy and reliability of the electricity system, and to facilitate the operation of a competitive electricity market.

The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) is an international regulatory authority for electric reliability of the bulk power system in North America. It develops and enforces reliability standards; assesses adequacy annually via a 10-year forecast, and winter and summer forecasts; monitors the bulk power system; audits owners, operators, and users for preparedness; and educates, trains, and certifies industry personnel. NERC is a self-regulatory organization, subject to oversight by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and governmental authorities in Canada.

The Northeast Power Coordinating Council, Inc. (NPCC) promotes and enhances the reliable and efficient operation of the international, interconnected bulk power system in northeastern North America, through the development of regional reliability standards; compliance assessment/enforcement of regional and continent-wide reliability standards; co-ordination of system planning, design and operations; assessment of reliability; establishing regionally specific criteria; and monitoring and enforcement of compliance. NPCC was established following the northeast blackout of Nov. 9, 1965.