California grid operator 'reluctantly' announces it will become its own reliability coordinator
- The California ISO announced yesterday it will soon act as its own reliability coordinator (RC), a responsibility currently handled by Peak Reliability. The grid operator expects its reliability services to be up and certified by September 2019.
- CAISO officials say the change is due to increased costs related to the Mountain West Transmission Group's likely departure from Peak, as well as Peak’s partnership with PJM to offer market services.
- Officials say they have supported a single coordinator for the Western Interconnection, but will now offer reliability services on its own system — as well as to other interested systems in the Western Interconnection
It's a new year, but judging by CAISO's announcement, taking over reliability services on its system wasn't a resolution.
“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,” CAISO President and CEO Steve Berberich said in a statement.
Berberich said the ISO will seek to provide reliability coordinator services on its own system, "as well as to other
interested parties in the Western Interconnection.”
Due to the anticipated changes, the grid operator said it will be able to provide those services across the
West, "at significantly reduced costs." The reliability coordinator is tasked with ensuring compliance with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and regional standards, including providing oversight and monitoring.
Among the services CAISO could offer include outage coordination and day-ahead planning, in addition to real-time monitoring for reliability. California grid officials also say they are extending the withdrawal period from the required 18 months to 20 months to ensure coordination with Peak Reliability’s members on the transition. CAISO will then complete necessary tariff changes, oversight functions, and certification processes in order to certify the new RC and start operations by spring 2019.
CAISO is planning several public meetings to take comment on the plan, including an informational call Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Last month, Peak Reliability and PJM subsidiary PJM Connex announced they had signed "a formal agreement to explore reliability services and markets in the West." The new entity is reportedly considering a day-ahead, real-time and ancillary services market.
Last fall, the Mountain West Transmission Group announced it had begun the process for becoming a member of the Southwest Power Pool, a change it said would provide opportunities to reduce customer costs and maximize resource and electric grid utilization. The group has been evaluating membership since 2013.
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