On May 4, 2012, FERC issued an order responding to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (“NERC”) motion for an extension of time to submit a revised Reliability Standard BAL-003 (Frequency Response and Bias) in compliance with earlier FERC directives. NERC had requested an indefinite extension beginning with two additional technical conferences to be followed by a proposed schedule. After pointing out that NERC had already been granted an extension from the original deadline of September 2010 to May 2012, FERC allowed a second extension for one year. In the interim, NERC was directed to file quarterly status reports and to complete the proposed statistical analysis and additional research into the calculation of the frequency response obligation within six months.

The current BAL-003 was approved in 2007, and since 2007 FERC has called for the standard to be modified to (1) define the necessary amount of frequency response needed for reliable operation for each balancing authority, and (2) identify methods of obtaining the frequency response and measuring that the necessary amount is achieved. NERC has stated that such modifications involve highly technical issues and necessitate conducting new studies.