The Align Project

November 19, 2019

Release 1 Deployment Update

NERC's management team decided to delay Release 1, originally planned for the last quarter of 2019, and NERC's Board accepted the schedule change at its August Board meeting. The primary drivers for the delay are related to ensuring data security in light of the change of ownership of our software provider, refining and harmonizing compliance audit and investigation business processes across the Regional Entities, and addressing stakeholder concerns regarding evidence collection. These are important issues to be addressed and we are committed to addressing them fully and in a timely manner. While these issues are being addressed, the project team continues with its other scheduled activities, with the goal of launching Release 1 in 2020.

One of those issues involves the collection and securing of data and evidence. The Align project team met with Regions and stakeholders on October 15th in Atlanta to listen to stakeholders about their concerns. There was a follow-up meeting on November 4th with the Align Steering Committee to review the concerns and determine next steps ensure that data collection is consistent, and that any data collected is secured within Align and other systems. The outcome of these meetings will be communicated in the coming weeks.

The Align project team is still determining the exact Align Release 1 training schedule, which will include the addition of a separate, secure repository for evidence.  When the final schedule is published, the Align project team will ensure that there is ample time to register for training.

For more information on the Align Release 1 deployment approach, please review our Align Release 1 FAQs


 News and Communications

Align Project Change Agents.pdfAlign Project Change Agents
Align Technology Project Summary Sheet.pdfAlign Technology Project Summary Sheet


The objectives and benefits of the Align Project are:
  • Single, common portal for registered entities, enabling consistency of experience
  • Real-time access to information, eliminating delays and manual communications
  • Improved capability to support the Risk-Based Compliance Oversight Framework
  • Enhanced quality assurance and oversight, enabling consistent application of the CMEP
  • Improved analytics, including visibility into compliance and reliability risks
  • Increased capability to implement audit best practices and processes (planning, fieldwork, reporting, quality assurance)
  • Standardization and implementation of common business processes and workflows, enabling increased productivity (estimated 15 percent gain for ERO Enterprise CMEP staff)
  • Reduced application costs across the ERO Enterprise (reduce current costs by roughly 29 percent, $320k annual savings)
  • Projected investment break-even within five years