In 2003, the SaskPower Board of Directors made the decision to adopt North American Reliability Corporation (NERC) reliability standards and make them applicable to SaskPower and all entities that connect to its transmission system. NERC is a regulatory authority with a mission to assure the reliability of the bulk power system in North America and is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by member representatives.
In June 2004, the SaskPower adopted an implementation plan to bring the corporation into compliance with NERC standards. As part of the implementation plan, SaskPower became a member of a Regional Reliability Organization, the Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) based in Minnesota. As part of its membership obligation, SaskPower formally participated in the program carried out by the MRO to assess compliance with reliability standards.
Enforcement of reliability standards in the U.S. and a number of Canadian jurisdictions is backstopped by regulations with formal oversight and provision for penalties. In Saskatchewan, changes were made to The Power Corporation Act in 2004 to provide SaskPower with the authority to acquire membership in a Regional Reliability Organization, establish electric reliability standards and enforce compliance with such standards.
The Saskatchewan Electric Reliability Authority (SERA) was approved by the SaskPower Board of Directors to manage the process for review, modification, approval and remanding of reliability standards in the province of Saskatchewan. SERA is a committee comprised of three SaskPower executives and has the mandate to approve Bulk Electric System (BES) standards, to monitor and enforce compliance, and to report to the SaskPower Board of Directors on reliability management. Compliance with reliability standards is applicable to all Registered Entities connected to the transmission system in the province of Saskatchewan.
A memorandum of understanding between SaskPower, NERC and the Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) recognizes SERA’s role in reliability compliance in Saskatchewan.
SERA Committee Members
Grant Ring has been a member of SERA since its inception. Grant Ring was appointed as SaskPower’s Vice-President, Procurement and Supply Chain in June 2015. He previously held the positions of Vice-President, Business Development; President and Chief Executive Officer of NorthPoint Energy Solutions; and Acting Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, Corporate and Financial Services.
Before joining SaskPower in 1990, he was employed in various accounting positions in private sector manufacturing and construction. His work experience includes project and asset accounting; general accounting and reporting; business development; procurement; treasury and banking and pension plans.
Mr. Ring is the Chairman of the Power Corporation Superannuation Plan and a Board member of the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region. He held the position of Chair of Financial Executives International Canada and Vice-Chair of the Public Employees Pension Plan (PEPP) as well as serving on other non-profit Boards.
Mr. Ring is a graduate of Queen’s University holding a Master of Business Administration. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). His contributions to the financial community were recognized in 2008 when he was named a Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants (FCMA). In 2007 he completed a certificate in executive coaching, and in 2011 achieved his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Rachelle Verret Morphy
Rachelle Verret Morphy is the Chair of SERA. She also acts as Vice-President, Law, Land and Regulatory Affairs for SaskPower. Ms. Verret Morphy joined SaskPower in 2005 as Assistant General Counsel with the Law Department. She was appointed Vice-President in 2011, with responsibility for overseeing the Law, Land and Regulatory Affairs division and advising the president, executive and Board of Directors on governance issues.
Previously Ms. Verret Morphy worked for a federally regulated financial institution where she was responsible for providing advice on legal, tax and regulatory matters. Ms. Verret Morphy also worked in the private practice of law for a number of years at a major Saskatchewan law firm, with a focus on procurement, construction, information technology and taxation.
Ms. Verret Morphy is both a lawyer and a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), and holds an ICD.D from the Institute of Corporate Directors. She has a bachelor of laws from the University of Saskatchewan, and a bachelor of commerce (honours) from the University of Ottawa. She is a member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan, the Canadian Bar Association, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Saskatchewan, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and the Association of Corporate Counsel. She also volunteers as a director of the Hospitals of Regina Foundation.
Tim Eckel was appointed as a member of SERA in July 2017. He also acts as Vice-President, Asset Management, Planning and Sustainability for SaskPower.
Mr. Eckel’s career at SaskPower began with Customer Services in North Battleford. Over the years he was involved with transmission maintenance, distribution and transmission planning, served as District Engineering Manager and led the formation of the Asset Management group.
Mr. Eckel holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering Technology from Saskatchewan Polytechnic, a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Regina. He is a professional engineer and member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS).
He represents SaskPower on the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) Transmission Council. Mr. Eckel is also an active member of his community. He currently volunteers with the Knights of Columbus and has volunteered with a number of charitable and community organizations in Saskatchewan. In February, 2017, Mr. Eckel was nominated to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) Reliability Issues Steering Committee.