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Answers to Anticipated Questions for New Form EIA-860, “Annual Electric Generator Report”

I am currently registered for the survey Form EIA-860. Will I need to re-register prior to submitting my 2007 data? 
No, you will automatically have access to the Form EIA-860 once the form is open for data collection.

How do I add a newly planned or missing existing electric plant to the Form EIA-860 survey? 
The respondent cannot add a new electric plant to the survey.  EIA has to perform that function. If you want EIA to add a newly planned or missing existing electric plant to the Form EIA-860, complete Schedules 1 and 2 of a MS Word copy of the survey and email them to the EIA.  This will provide us with enough information to assign a facility code and add the facility to the online survey.  You will then be able to complete the remaining Schedules for that facility online. Or, you may email the EIA a completed survey (Schedules 1 through 6) for the facility and we will enter the data online.  Please note that a planned electric plant should be included in the Form EIA-860 when it is within 5 years of the expected commercial operation date.       

How do I know if I am supposed to complete Schedule 6 (environmental data) for a particular facility? Find the facility in Schedule 2. If either category listed in line 11 is checked, then you must complete Schedule 6 as applicable. If neither category is checked, then the screens in Schedule 6 should be “grayed out” (not editable) and no reporting is required. However, the addition of new generators and/or generator retirements in Schedule 3 may affect the status shown in line 11.  

Schedule 6 must be completed for each organically fueled or combustible renewable steam-electric plant where the combined nameplate capacity of generators with associated boilers is 10 megawatts or greater. This includes the steam portion of combined-cycle units that have duct-firing capability.  Nuclear is not included.  Also not included are non-boiler prime movers such as internal combustion units, simple cycle gas turbines, and combined cycle combustion turbines.  Schedules 6A, 6D, 6E, 6G, and 6H must be completed for steam electric plants that have between 10 megawatts and less than 100 megawatts of nameplate capacity. All portions of Schedule 6 must be completed for steam-electric plants that have 100 or more megawatts of nameplate capacity.       

How do I add a new or missing generator to Schedules 3?
To add a new or missing generator at a particular facility when there are no empty columns available, click the “Add Generator” button that is located to the right side of Schedule 3A.  This button opens up an empty column for the generator data.  When adding a generator that entered commercial operation prior to January 1, 2008 (existing generators), complete Schedules 3A, 3B, and 4.  You will also need to complete Schedule 5 only if the generator entered commercial operation during 2007.  When adding a generator that will enter commercial operation after December 31, 2007, (proposed generators), complete Schedules 3A, 3C, and 4.  

Please explain the basics of how to navigate through the survey?
Schedule tabs near the top of each page allow you to advance through the Schedules.
Verify the information in Schedule 1 and then proceed to Schedule 2.  Click on the up or down arrows on the scroll bar on the right side of the page in Schedule 2 to advance to a particular facility.  Verify/update the data in Schedule 2.  Then click on the Schedule 3AB tab to review the generator level data for that facility.  Click on any data box under a particular generator to highlight and edit the data for that generator.  If there are more than 3 generators at the facility, use the scroll bar located above the third column to view the data for the remaining generators. It is important to note that the position of the cursor in Schedule 3AB controls what generators you see in Schedules 3C, 4, and 5.  For example, if you want to update the owner data for a particular generator in Schedule 4, you must first highlight that generator in Schedule 3AB.  Then click on the tab for Schedule 4 and edit the data.  After you complete the generator level data, return to Schedule 2 to advance to the next facility.  Use Schedule 2 to advance to the next facility in Schedule 6.  (If your Form EIA-860 survey contains only one electric plant that has 3 or fewer generators, the scroll bars will not be active.)

What if my company is no longer the operator of a facility listed in Schedule 2. 
First, it is important that you verify and update data for only those facilities that your company was the operator for on December 31, 2007. If your company was no longer the operator for all the facilities listed in Schedule 2, then click on the “New Operator” button in Schedule 1 and provide contact information for the new operator.  You should also send an email to EIA informing us which generating plants you are no longer required to report data for. If you are no longer the operator for only one of several facilities listed in Schedule 2, include a note in Schedule 7 that lists the name of the facility that you no longer operate and contact information for the new operator. You may also contact EIA directly by phone or email and provide that information.   

What Form EIA-767 data has been moved to the Form EIA-860 survey?
Most of the basic infrastructure data from the Form EIA-767 has been moved to the Form EIA-860.  This includes data on plant configuration, boiler air emission standards, design parameters, emission controls, cooling system design parameters, FGD design parameters, and stack and flue design parameters.  Annual operating data such as generation, fuel consumption and fuel quality, financial information (O&M, capital expenditures), and FGD and cooling system annual operations data have been moved to the new Form EIA-923. 

How do I determine the NERC region in which the plant is located or will be located?
A map of NERC regions is located at:  http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/chg_str_fuel/html/fig02.html.
Important: The NERC region is determined by the location of the generating facility, not the plants association with a particular region. 


What if the plant/facility no longer functions as a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) or cogeneration facility?
If the plant no longer functions as a CHP or cogeneration facility, then the response for each associated generator in Schedule 3B, Line 8 must be “No”; update Schedule 2, Lines 12 and 13, as applicable.

How do I find out if the plant/site is a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Qualifying Facility (QF)?
Small power producers and cogenerators receive qualifying facility status if they meet certain requirements for ownership, operating methods, and efficiency. Those requirements were established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Exempt wholesale generator status is approved by the Commission.  The following links may be helpful:
What if I do not have the QF docket number(s) for the site?
 The following link may be helpful in obtaining the docket number(s).
How do I obtain the generator’s reactive capability curve for reporting reactive power?
The generator-specific capability curve is provided by the manufacturer of the generator upon purchase of the generator.  You should find out where your company keeps the curve(s) for the generator(s) at each plant site for which you report.

When do I report a proposed wind facility on the Form EIA-860? 
Data on a proposed wind plant should be included on the Form EIA-860 once the facility is within 5 years of commercial operation.  However, we want to include a wind plant in our database only if there is a reasonable likelihood that the facility will be built.  Therefore, we can allow a respondent to delay reporting until there is more certainty with the project.  The facility must be reported on the Form EIA-860 if it has begun the process of obtaining the environmental permits required for the project, or if funding for the project has been obtained.  Using these criteria, we expect that reporting should start no later than 18 months prior to the expected commercial operations date.  Please contact EIA if your situation is different.
The wind turbines at my site will start commercial operation over a several month period.  How do I report them on Form EIA-860?
All proposed wind turbine generators being built during the first phase of construction and that are expected to enter commercial operation in generally the same time period (a one-to-three month period) should be aggregated together and reported as one generator record on the Form EIA-860 survey.  Any “second phase” of construction at an existing facility that has an expected commercial operations date different than the initial phase of the project should be reported as a second generator record.  If the generators for any phase of a project enter commercial operation over more than a one-month period, report the “initial date of operation” (Schedule 3, Part B Line 6) as the month and year that the initial wind turbines first began supplying power to the grid.  If there are any questions as to whether the additional turbines should be reported as a “second phase” of an existing project or a separate stand-alone wind facility with its own facility code, please contact EIA.

What are the key changes to the previous Form EIA-860 questions?
Although most of the previous Form EIA-860 questions remain intact, there were a few changes that will require some additional consideration.  On Schedule 2, questions were added (lines 13 – 15) regarding Qualifying Facility (QF) status that were previously located on Schedule 3E of the form.  This will allow you to report QF status and docket numbers at the plant level rather than at the generator level.

The 2006 Form EIA-860 survey included a separate Schedule (3C) where the respondent was required to report proposed changes to existing generators.  These questions are now located on Schedule 3B (lines 17a through 17f).  In addition, the list of the changes for which a response is required was reduced.  The intent of this change is to reduce the burden on the respondent and to improve the reporting of changes that significantly impacts a unit’s generating capacity.

Finally, the question regarding a generating unit’s reactive power output has been changed.  Previously, the question requested that the respondent provide the reactive power capacity of a generating unit.  However, in a cooperative effort to provide better data support to the electric system operation, this question (Schedule 3B, Line 3 a – b) was changed to request the reactive power output that is associated with both the net summer and net winter capacity value that is provided in Schedule 3B, Line 2.  These values can be determined by using the reactive power capability curve for the unit, which is typically provided by the manufacturer when the unit is delivered. 

Who is required to complete Schedule 5?
A respondent needs to complete Schedule 5 for each generator that started commercial operation during the year (calendar year for which the survey is being filed).
For example, for the 2007 data collection, if the commercial operations date shown in Schedule 3B line 6 is 2007, then complete Schedule 5 for that particular generator.
Otherwise, leave the page blank.

When and how do I utilize Schedule 7 (footnotes)?
 Use Schedule 7 at any time to clarify or make additional comments or notes about the data.  If a comment pertains to a specific generator, please include the plant name and generator ID in your comment.  Schedule 7 is reviewed by our office only after the survey has been submitted.  If you have a question pertaining to a data field on one of the Schedules, please contact EIA directly rather than request assistance through the footnotes page.

I completed the form but I am unable to submit it.  What should I do?
The most common reason for not being able to successfully submit the survey is the failure to address the warnings or errors that are listed in the “error log.”  Before submitting the survey, each respondent must first click on the “Error Log” tab located on the right side of the page near the top.  At this page, click the “Run EIA-860 Edits” tab located on the left side.  The system will then run edit checks against the data in the individual Schedules.

Once the checks are completed, if the system lists no warnings or errors in the error log, then you should be able to successfully submit the survey by clicking on the submit button located in the upper left corner.  The submission status and date should then appear near the center of Schedule 1.  However, if the edit system finds errors in the data, it will list them by facility code in the error log.  At this point you must either correct the errors by revising the data in the particular Schedule, or you must override the error.

To correct the error, click on the appropriate Schedule tab at the top of the page, find the field with the error, and make the correction.  Then, return to the error log and proceed to the next error on the list.

To override the error, click on the “override” box shown on the right side of the page next to the error.  In the pop-up field that appears on the screen, type a comment explaining why the data are correct and should be overridden.  Then click save.

Remember, you must acknowledge each error by either correcting the data in Schedules 1 through 6, or by overriding the error with a comment.  Once you have either corrected or overridden each error, click the “run EIA-860 Edits” to re-run the edits.  When the edit run is completed, errors that previously had been on the error log list will disappear from the list if they pass the edits.

Errors that have been overridden will remain on the list and will later be reviewed by our office. (If you later decide that an overridden error can be corrected, make the correction in that particular schedule and then uncheck the error override box in the error log.  Only by un-checking the override box and then re-running the edits will the error disappear.)  If the error log list contains only overridden errors, you should be able to successfully submit the survey.

Why won’t the Internet Data Collection system allow me to update some of the data fields?
We have locked several of the data fields simply because the data should not change from year-to-year.  These include, but are not limited to, the generator id, generator nameplate capacity, prime mover, initial date of operation, and State location.  Some fields are locked because it is unlikely they will change.  These include, but are not limited to, the plant name and the combined heat and power status.  If you find incorrect data in a locked field, contact EIA with the correction and we will make the change.  Please note that a request to change the generator nameplate capacity must include a photo (digital or print) of the actual nameplate that is fastened to the side of the generator.

When should I include Start-up and Flame Stabilization fuels in reporting energy sources?
A fuel that is used exclusively for start-up and flame stabilization should only be reported in Schedule 3B, line 10 (Start-up and Flame Stabilization Fuels).  It should not be included under “Second Most Predominant Energy Source” unless it is also used as a primary fuel to power the prime mover.  It should not be included under “Other Energy Sources” unless it is also used or could be used as a primary fuel to power the prime mover.     

Why does the “Reporting Period” read “as of December 31, 2007” when the survey Time Frame is calendar year 2007?
Many of the questions on the survey pertain to the operations of the facility during the calendar year.  For example, we ask that you provide the energy sources in order of the quantity (Btu’s) consumed during the year.  We also ask that you provide the summer and winter capacity data based on the capacity that was available during that time of the year.  However, many of the questions pertain specifically to the status of the facility as of December 31.  For example, the name of the legal operator is the entity that was operating the facility on December 31, 2007.  The status of proposed generators should be their status as of December 31, 2007.  If the question is asking whether or not a generator has specific equipment or design characteristics, we are asking for the status as of December 31.  Please contact EIA if you have any questions.    

I have never filed data on boilers and other environmental equipment (formerly the Form EIA-767 data).  What should I do?
Contact EIA. 

Please explain “Unit Code” and its relationship to combined-cycle units?
The “unit code” is a four-character designation (i.e. M332, 4435) assigned by the respondent to each generator at a facility that normally operates together as a single unit.  For combined-cycle systems, the generators associated with the combustion turbines and the combined-cycle steam units are often run as one unit, even tested for summer and winter capacity based on the performance of the system as a whole.  Generators with the same unit code will be identified as single units. Multiple combined-cycle units at a facility should be assigned separate unit codes.



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EIA-860 Resources
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Filing requirements for EIA-860
Summary of new and deleted data elements

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