The Members Committee capped a year-long initiative to improve key aspects of the stakeholder process by endorsing changes designed to enhance transparency, streamline meetings and provide a roadmap for the resolution of contentious issues.
Members approved the package, advanced by members of the Stakeholder Super Forum, by an acclamation vote Thursday, Sept. 26, with one objection and no abstentions.
Rebecca Carroll, director – Dispatch, who facilitated the forum, said each of the three proposals received overwhelming consensus – well over 90 percent – in a group poll.
The Members Committee approved the formation of the Super Forum last October. The group was tasked with identifying opportunities to modify the stakeholder process in three areas:
- Prioritize issues for stakeholders
- Develop a pathway to resolve issues that are contentious or must be decided quickly
- Enhance transparency throughout the decision-making process
The changes will be added to Manual 34: PJM Stakeholder Process.
Priority of Issues
The changes set parameters around meeting frequency, duration and format. For example, stakeholder meetings may be scheduled in one-hour blocks and shortened or canceled if necessary; meetings of two hours or less generally will be WebEx only; and facilitators commit to ending meetings by 5 p.m. and adhering to the time slots posted on the agenda.
PJM will attempt to consolidate shorter meetings into the same day and will maintain two-contiguous days each month when no meetings will be scheduled.
The Members Committee work plan will be reviewed at least quarterly, and before any new issue charge is approved.
Critical Issue Fast Path
The Super Forum also devised an alternative process to resolve issues that are contentious or time-sensitive: the Critical Issue Fast Path.
Carroll said that the process is expected to be used infrequently, for major issues and only in extraordinary circumstances. The trigger involves the Board of Managers – either initiating the process itself, or being requested to by a two-thirds, sector-weighted Members Committee vote.
The process could range from five consecutive days to several months.
In the event a Critical Issue Fast Path were invoked, PJM would notify all stakeholders, so everyone would have a chance to participate in the process, Carroll said.
Two sections of Manual 34 were amended to add new opportunities for members to review and give input in governing document changes.
Members may request, or PJM may offer, a “page-turn” review of endorsed business rules – either prior to a vote by the Markets & Reliability Committee, or after such a vote but before filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The other change regards language posted online according to existing posting-process timelines: If that language is substantively modified at the time the Members Committee is voting on it or afterward, PJM will post the language, to the extent possible, at least three business days before its intended filing.