Electricity Markets

Western reliability coordinator to cease operation at end of 2019

Peak Reliability, the reliability coordinator for most of the Western Interconnection, on July 18 said that it will cease operation at the end of 2019.

The announcement comes after a year of effort by Peak Reliability to provide a viable, long-term reliability coordinator option for the West, it said in a stakeholder bulletin posted on its website.

Peak Reliability said that based on the ongoing process to determine a direction for reliability coordinator services beyond 2019 or to end operations, feedback from Peak Reliability’s funding parties “clearly indicates overwhelming support for Peak to wind down the organization.”

Peak Reliability said that it is committed to work with the CEOs of its funding parties to ensure an orderly transition of reliability coordinator services to any other reliability coordinator providers.

Concurrently, Peak Reliability “will continue to honor its fiduciary responsibility to reliability and its bylaws and will follow the processes contained in the bylaws and the funding agreement to effectuate the wind down,” it said.

In addition, Peak Reliability announced that it is ending its partnership with PJM Connext to explore reliability services and markets in the West.

PJM Connext is a wholly-owned, non-regulated subsidiary of PJM Interconnection, the Mid-Atlantic grid operator.

In December 2017, Peak Reliability and PJM Connext said they would begin a review of potential reliability services, market design, governance, product suites, rules, technology and organization.

In its July 18 announcement, Peak Reliability said that it has withdrawn from the agreement with PJM Connext in order to prevent the wind down of Peak Reliability “from creating an unnecessary distraction to the PJM Connext initiative which has over the past several months gained traction among Western entities.”

SPP to offer reliability coordination services in the western U.S.

In recent related news, Southwest Power Pool on June 5 said that it plans to offer reliability coordination services in the western U.S., specifically the Western Interconnection, starting in late 2019.

SPP noted that it has indicated its intent to serve as a reliability coordinator in the west in letters to the Western Electricity Coordinating Council and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

The Western Area Power Administration on June 11 submitted a formal request to SPP for reliability coordinator services for two WAPA balancing authorities.

Meanwhile, in early 2018, the California Independent System Operator said that it would become its own reliability coordinator and offer services to other balancing authorities and transmission operators in the western U.S.

The Bonneville Power Administration on Feb. 26 signed a letter of intent to explore receiving reliability coordinator services from the California Independent System Operator.