Gerry Cauley, Head of Strategy at Siemens, is Creating a New Program to Perform NERC Compliance for Power Plants

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Gerry Cauley Gerry Cauley

 Gerry Cauley is the Principal Consultant and Head of Strategy and Planning Practice at Siemens Energy Business Advisory in Fairfax, VA. He focuses on integrating emerging technologies that include renewables, distributed energy resources, and digital technologies.

Cauley’s team works tirelessly to anticipate extreme risk events that threaten to hinder energy companies and shares his expertise on mitigation, resilience and compliance issues.

The consultant helped initiate a new program at Siemens to perform North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) compliance services for power plants under Siemens’ operating and maintenance contracts.

NERC is a federally recognized electric reliability firm, tasked with developing standards for reliability and security for the majority of power systems across the continental U.S. and Canada.

Pertaining to the Siemens NERC compliance program, Gerry Cauley says, “The process begins with examining plant obligations and the scope of the relevant Generator Owner and Generator Operator compliance needs for that client’s assets.”

What are the registration prerequisites for the program? Cauley explains these require that any generator connected to the bulk power system at 100 kV or above on the high side of the step up transformer, and an individual unit nameplate capacity of 20 MW or greater, or aggregate plant nameplate capacity of 75 MW or greater, shall register with NERC and the applicable regional entity.

“Typically,” Gerry Cauley elaborates, “these registration criteria are straightforward. Although, Siemens also has the capacity to perform an interconnection analysis to support any issues with registration, particularly those arising due to historical precedents that challenge registration requirements.”

The Siemens NERC Compliance Program Policy outlines the program’s governance, responsibilities, and principles. Specifically, it sheds light on the procedures that include reporting of noncompliance, mitigation plan developments and tracking, compliance information reporting, and data retention.

Gerry Cauley goes on to explain that Siemens manages each plant in the NERC compliance program to reach reliability, security and compliance benchmarks. Plant management leads can access a performance dashboard to track the progress of these metrics. A compliance oversight committee is tasked with reviewing performance on a regular basis.

Gerry Cauley elaborates a little more on this oversight committee. “It is comprised of a Siemens compliance officer, plant manager, and department leads who are involved with NERC compliance obligations. This team presents its findings to the client as often as is needed.”