- The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) has certified California ISO's reliability coordinator operation, known as RC West, clearing the way for it to formally begin operating next month, CAISO said Monday.
- The California ISO announced in January 2018 that it would begin acting as its own reliability coordinator (RC), taking over that responsibility from Peak Reliability. RC West will become the reliability coordinator of record for 16 balancing authorities and transmission operators in California, including one in northern Mexico, starting July 1.
- Following additional review by NERC and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), RC West expects to take on additional customers and ultimately have reliability oversight for 87% of the electricity load in the Western Interconnection.
It has been more than a year since the California grid operator announced it would begin offering RC services, but NERC's decision marks a "major milestone in the transition of grid oversight responsibility," according to the ISO.
ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich called the NERC certification "an important turning point in our effort to become the Reliability Coordinator for the western region," adding that it "was a huge lift for our staff."
RC West will not step into its new role cold.
Since May 1, the ISO has been conducting "shadow operations," with RC West operators tracking and mirroring the reliability coordination provided by Peak Reliability. RC West operators participated in all communications, verified system data and conducted operational analysis and monitored system conditions using situational awareness tools, according to the ISO.
And though it will launch with 16 balancing authorities, those numbers could quickly expand. The ISO said it expects in November that RC West will become the RC to an additional 24 entities in the Western Interconnection.
The list of balancing authorities and transmission operators expected to receive services from RC West includes eight utilities in the California ISO, Arizona Public Service, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, Salt River Project, Idaho Power, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, NV Energy and others.