Powering Strong Communities

CAISO board adopts final set of 2021 summer readiness initiatives

The California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) Board of Governors on April 21 adopted a final suite of market and operational improvements intended to support grid reliability throughout the West during tight supply conditions.

The board approved the Market Enhancements for Summer 2021 Readiness-Export, Load and Wheeling Priorities initiative, which will refine the prioritization of energy imports, exports, and transfers through the ISO’s balancing authority area (BAA), CAISO noted.

The initiative, slated for implementation in July, “enhances the ISO’s ability to reliably manage intertie energy transactions during electricity shortages such as those that occurred during the August 2020 heatwave that caused rotating power outages,” the grid operator said.

The initiative was the final near-term summer readiness initiative for the Board’s consideration and, if approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), will be effective until May 31, 2022.

The ISO is scheduled to begin a regional stakeholder process on a long-term solution to wheeling priorities -- energy transfers through the ISO’s BAA -- in the coming months.

Because the initiative generally affects the real-time energy market, the Western EIM Governing Body last week met to consider the proposal under its advisory role to the Board of Governors and voted to advise the board to take the necessary steps to start a regional stakeholder process and engage the FERC as necessary to proactively create a durable long-term regional solution to the issues relating to export, load, and wheeling priorities.

In March, the Board of Governors and the EIM Governing Body in part, adopted the bulk of market enhancements for summer 2021 readiness to prepare for extreme heat waves that could affect California and the West this summer.

CAISO president and CEO Elliot Mainzer discussed CAISO’s preparation for this summer in a recent episode of the American Public Power Association’s Public Power Now podcast.