Electricity Markets

CAISO marks first phase of reliability coordinator operations

The California Independent System Operator recently became the official reliability coordinator of record for 16 electricity balancing authorities and transmission operators primarily in California, and one in Mexico.

CAISO said the July 1 cutover marks the first phase of a transition of power grid oversight responsibility from Peak Reliability to the ISO’s service, RC West and culminates work the ISO had begun in January 2018 to become a reliability coordinator for entities within its footprint and to offer the service to all balancing authorities and transmission operators in the West.

Peak Reliability in July 2018 said it would cease operation at the end of 2019.

The North American Energy Reliability Corporation recently certified that CAISO could act as reliability coordinator for electricity balancing authorities in Western states and part of Mexico beginning July 1.

In the first operational phase, RC West officially took over RC services for balancing authorities and transmission for the majority of California, and one entity in Mexico, Centro Nacional de Control de Energia.

In early November, following additional certifications by NERC and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, the ISO anticipates that RC West will become the reliability coordinator for another 23 entities in the Western Interconnection, overseeing 87 percent of the load in the western United States.

RC West will monitor the interconnected power grids in the West for compliance with federal and regional grid standards; authorize measures to prevent or mitigate system emergencies in day-ahead or real-time operations; and lead system restoration following major incidents.

CAISO said it has successfully conducted shadow operations for RC West since May 1.

During this time period, RC West operators mirrored the reliability coordination provided by Peak Reliability by participating in all communications, verifying system data, conducting operational analysis and monitoring system conditions using situational awareness tools.

SPP offers reliability coordination services

In June 2018, the Southwest Power Pool said that it planned to offer reliability coordination services in the western U.S., specifically the Western Interconnection, starting in late 2019.

In September 2018, SPP said that several public power utilities in the West agreed to receive reliability RC services from the grid operator. Colorado-based Platte River Power Authority, Colorado Springs Utilities and the City of Farmington, New Mexico, a public power community, committed to receive reliability coordination services from SPP. SPP also noted it would provide such services to several Western Area Power Administration regions.

In June, SPP provided details on SPP’s proposal for a Western Energy Imbalance Service (EIS) market that it intends to launch at the end of 2020.

CAISO in 2014 launched a western Energy Imbalance Market.