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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has signed off on further revisions to the definition of the bulk electric system (BES) to help provide greater clarity, consistency and improved reliability by focusing on core facilities that are necessary for operating the interconnected transmission network.

In December 2012, FERC approved a proposal by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) to replace the then-existing BES definition that allowed for regional discretion with a 100 kV "bright-line" threshold, a list of specifically included and excluded facilities, and a case-by-case exception process to add or remove facilities. That decision also directed NERC to propose further revisions.

The latest order approves NERC's proposal to refine the exclusions for radial facilities and local networks. In addition, the order approves revisions clarifying that all forms of generation, including variable generation resources, are included in the BES, as well as certain generator interconnection facilities.

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