The Align Project

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June 23, 2020

On June 22, FERC issued a delegated letter order approving NERCs financing request for the development of the ERO Secure Evidence Locker (SEL). The ERO SEL is a key component of the NERCs reimagined suite of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program (CMEP) work and data management tools and will be implemented in conjunction with Align Release 1 in early 2021. It will be used for the collection and analysis of evidence provided by registered entities in connection with CMEP activities.

The need for this highly secure evidence repository comes at a time when the security of the bulk power system is constantly under attack by threat actors seeking information to compromise the system. The ERO SEL will be designed to provide an isolated environment for off-premise evidence analysis across the ERO Enterprise.

The ERO Enterprise appreciates FERCs quick action on this key reliability initiative. For more information on the ERO SEL, visit the “Secure Evidence Locker Functionality section on the Align FAQs page.


May 13, 2020

Align Update: Secure Evidence Lockers - Updated Specifications as of April 29, 2020

As noted in the January 27th stakeholder webinar and supporting materials, the ERO Enterprise will be implementing a Secure Evidence Locker (SEL) in conjunction with Release 1 of Align. Several registered entities voiced interest in implementing​ a registered entity SEL as an alternative to the ERO Enterprise SEL. In response to this interest, the Align project team is providing a functional specification document for any registered entity SEL. You may access the specification by clicking here or under Important Documents in the right hand column of this web page.

All stakeholders are welcome to review the specifications. If you have comments or questions, you may submit those to AskAlign@nerc.net.

A final version of this document was posted on April 29, 2020.

​The project team continues to update the Align FAQ page with incoming questions submitted by stakeholders. Updates to FAQs are posted on a frequent basis so check back often. A new search feature was added to aid in finding answers to specific topics or keywords.

Submit questions related to the webinar to AskAlign@nerc.net



 

 News and Communications

  
  
1-Align-Program Business Case Updated April 2020.pdf1-Align-Program Business Case Updated April 2020
1-Align-Registered Entity SEL Functional Requirements Updated April 29 2020.pdf1-Align-Registered Entity SEL Functional Requirements Updated April 29 2020
Align Project Change Agents.pdfAlign Project Change Agents
Align Technology Project Summary Sheet.pdfAlign Technology Project Summary Sheet

 Benefits

Benefits
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