Is Reliability In Your Future?

I'm hearing a new wave of disdain for the NERC Reliability Standards from the industry. This happens from time to time and it isn't just about the CIP Standards. The Order 693 stuff gets its fair share of noise too. The most common thread is how all of this effort doesn't really improve reliability of the power system. I hear it from plant and system operators. I hear it from comm-techs. I hear it from all ranks of management, from the front lines all the way to the executive level (though middle management seems to be the loudest). I even hear it from the IT staff but to a lesser extent.

Granted. The Reliability Standards are a pain. Lots of work, lots of money and lots of time spent to reach the magical state of Compliance. It deserves some of the frustrated noise that it gets, but not all.

One benefit: Accountability.

I know I'll probably take some heat for saying it, but in my opinion, holding people accountable for their actions will improve reliability of the power system. Accountability is a powerful tool for maintaining integrity. Some of the most obvious examples of accountability in action are cameras. They are aimed at cash registers while capturing POS data watching the watchers at daycare centers and schools and even publicly scrutinizing police officer actions via headcams. No, system and plant operators shouldn't be fitted with headcams, but they shouldn't fear accountability either. I can sense a strong authority vibe coming from them and it seems that they perceive these standards to be chipping away at their ability to freely make grid management decisions. The accountability elements built into the standards will only take away your ability to make decisions anonymously. Believe it or not, this could actually help you and your system.

The photo was taken by a friend of mine who says the graffiti isn't his - and I think I believe him. And to quote his response on the message: "no, it isn't, but hopefully it is recoverable." Thanks SHP. Please, no bathroom humor.