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Alberta Electric System Operator Approval of New and Amended CIP Alberta Reliability Standards, AUC Decision 28354-D01-2023

Link to Decision Summarized

Transmission Regulation – Section 19

Application

On July 25, 2023, the Alberta Electric System Operator (“AESO”) forwarded a recommendation to the AUC, pursuant to s 19(4)(b) of the Transmission Regulation (“T-Reg”), to approve the new proposed Critical Infrastructure Protection (“CIP”) reliability standards, integrating security baselines and modern technologies that would allow the AESO to respond to and mitigate cyber threats.

Decision

The AUC approved the proposed new CIP reliability standards, effective October 1, 2024, with the exception of one requirement, which will have a staggered implementation, as detailed in the application.

Pertinent Issues

The AESO submitted that the proposed new CIP reliability standards could be applied in the Alberta framework with only minor revisions from the original North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) revisions. Such changes would be made in response to stakeholder feedback, the most significant of which would be a phased implementation plan for one of the requirements. To align with these proposed changes, the AESO proposed the adoption of the new NERC definitions for “transient cyber asset” and “removable media,” as well as “CIP Senior Manager.”

Pursuant to s 19(4) of the T-Reg, before adopting or making reliability standards, the AESO must consult with those market participants likely to be affected. Pursuant to ss 19(5) and 19(6) of the T-Reg, the AUC must approve or refuse to approve each reliability standard in accordance with the recommendation of the AESO, unless an interested person satisfies the AUC that the AESO’s recommendation is technically deficient or not in the public interest. The AUC was satisfied that the AESO fulfilled the consultation requirements and, since no objections were filed alleging that the proposed standards are technically deficient or not in the public interest, the AUC approved the proposed reliability standards based on the AESO recommendation.

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