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Keys to a Sustainable Facility Ratings Program

In October of 2022, the ERO Enterprise (NERC and the six Regional Entities) published a Facility Ratings Best Practices Report. The report is intended to aid entities in strengthening the accuracy and sustainability of their individual facility ratings programs.

The report is split into four general themes to assist with accuracy; 1) Lack of Awareness 2) Inadequate Asset and Data Management 3) Inadequate Change Management 4) Inconsistent Development and Application of Facility Ratings Methodologies. In addition to these four general themes, each section goes into a detailed framework for the individual themes that include: observations, suggestions to address the identified themes, and corrective actions. Below is a figure from the report that shows different areas that impact facility ratings and how all of them should be considered.

One of the high risks identified in the 2023 MRO Regional Risk Assessment was Overhead Transmission Line Ratings. This risk can be mitigated with a strong Facility Ratings Methodology that incorporates best practices for long-term sustainability. Some of the best practices include: robust documented change management process; checklists for new inventory to be added; periodic in-field validation/field walk-downs; and a facility ratings program owner. Routine monitoring of facility ratings programs is critical, along with associated controls to ensure that the program remains effective and sustainable. The MRO Reliability Advisory Council (RAC) is covering this topic in more detail at MRO’s annual Reliability Conference on May 17,2023, with a panel made up of registered entities and other industry stakeholders. The full ERO Enterprise Facility Ratings Best Practices Report can be found on NERC’s website and questions on the report or Facility Ratings in general can be sent to [email protected].

– Bryan Clark, MRO Director of Reliability Analysis