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California ISO to Become Its Own Reliability Coordinator

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By Editors of Power Engineering

The California Independent System Operator announced it will become its own Reliability Coordinator and offer these services to other balancing authorities and transmission operators in the western United States.

The ISO has given notice of its withdrawal to its current reliability coordinator, Peak Reliability, and to each of their funding members, effective September 2019.

CAISO had supported a single reliability coordinator in the Western Interconnection to provide the most comprehensive and coordinated view of the system. However, as the likely departure of the Mountain West Transmission Group from Peak is expected to increase costs to all participants, CAISO believes it is now necessary to withdraw.

Not only will CAISO provide reliability coordination services for its own footprint, it will also offer the services to other parties across the western United States at competitive costs.

“The ISO reluctantly takes these steps and will collaborate with the rest of the funding parties to ensure continuity of reliability services and to avoid any party being adversely affected financially,” said Steve Berberich, President and CEO of the ISO. “We will now seek to provide Reliability Coordinator services to our own system, as well as to other interested parties in the Western Interconnection.”

A reliability coordinator is responsible for complying with North American Electric Reliability Corporation and regional standards, including providing oversight, monitoring operational and security risks, acting or directing action to preserve system reliability, and providing leadership in system restoration following a major reliability event.

The RC services CAISO is contemplating will include outage coordination and day-ahead planning in addition to real-time monitoring for reliability.

CAISO is extending its withdrawal period from the required 18 months to 20 months to ensure seamless coordination with Peak Reliability’s members on the transition. During that time, CAISO has pledged to work through an open and transparent process with all interested stakeholders to complete necessary tariff changes, oversight functions, and certification processes from NERC and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council in a timely manner.

The ISO plans for its new RC unit to be certified and operational by spring 2019.

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