AICPA SOC Service Organizations - Certrec

Northern States Power (Xcel Energy) Found in Violation of PRC-024-2 R2

Summary of NERC Penalties









Quarter 1



Transmission Operator (TOP) Standard

TOP-001-4 R18

They did not have an adequate process or effective mechanism to input a ratings change for a circuit breaker


During a Compliance Audit, MRO determined that the Entity, as a Generator Owner (GO), was in noncompliance with PRC-024-2 R2. NSP, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCO) (NCR05521), and Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS) (NCR01145) (referred to collectively as Xcel Energy) are Xcel Energy companies monitored together under the Coordinated Oversight Program and processed by MRO under Northern States Power (Xcel Energy) (NSP) (NCR01020). This issue applied to PSCO located in the Western Electricity Coordinating Council region. While gathering evidence for the audit request, the Entity reported to MRO that it had identified one relay for one out of the eight sampled generation units that was set to operate within the “no trip zone” as defined in PRC-024-02 Attachment 2. The Entity reported that the unit was recently acquired, and the Entity did not discover the issue during the transfer of ownership.


The cause of the noncompliance was that the Entity’s PRC-024-2 process was insufficient in that it did not have adequate milestones, depth of review, or management oversight to ensure that acquired generating units were compliant with the standard.

The noncompliance started on June 1, 2020, when the Entity failed to set its voltage protective relaying such that it does not trip the generating unit within the “no trip zone” per Attachment 2 of the Standard, and ended on March 5, 2021, when the relay setting was corrected.


MRO considered the Entity’s compliance history and determined that there were no relevant instances of noncompliance.  This issue was dispositioned as a Compliance Exception (CE).

About Certrec:
Certrec is a leading provider of regulatory compliance solutions for the energy industry with the mission of helping ensure a stable, reliable, bulk electric supply. Since 1988, Certrec’s SaaS applications and consulting expertise have helped hundreds of power-generating facilities manage their regulatory compliance and reduce their risks.

Certrec’s engineers and business teams bring a cumulative 1,500 years of working experience in regulatory areas of compliance, engineering, and operations, including nuclear, fossil, solar, wind facilities, and other Registered Entities generation and transmission.

Certrec has helped more than 120 generating facilities establish and maintain NERC Compliance Programs. We manage the entire NERC compliance program for 60+ registered entities in the US and Canada that trust us to decrease their regulatory and reputational risk. Certrec is ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified and has successfully completed annual SOC 2 Type 2 examinations.

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