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CAISO Okays Generator Revenue & Transmission Congestion Improvements

22 Mar

The grid operator’s board adopted significant reforms to its wholesale power market March 22 to bolster revenues for natural gas power plant generators and curtail speculative profits stemming from transmission congestion. In a decision that will change the way gas generators offer their power in the California Independent System Operator’s market, the operator’s board adopted […]

Western ISO Bill Nixes Capacity Market, Bolsters CEC Authority

20 Mar

Changes to legislation to allow California’s grid operator to transform into a western balancing authority give the California Energy Commission the power to decide whether a proposed governance proposal passes muster. The latest iteration of AB 813 by Assembly Utilities & Energy Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) also would prohibit creating a centralized capacity market. Assemblymember […]


20 Mar

California’s grid experienced an ancillary services shortage from March 9-11. The California Independent System Operator reported that on March 20, noting it triggered scarcity pricing in several intervals of the 15 minute market. The maximum shortage amounted to 5.36 MW around 2 p.m. on March 11. Several other smaller shortages also occurred over the three-day […]

Panel Hears Conflicting Views on Potential CAISO Expansion

15 Mar

After last year’s attempt to ram through legislation to unify the Western grid, the benefits and risks of expanding the California’s grid operator’s footprint were publicly debated by the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee March 14. The focus of the panel’s hearing was AB 813 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), committee chair. Last year, he […]

The Buzz

9 Mar

A sizable midweek natural gas leak in San Diego shuts down a freeway, a huge mall and requires evacuations. As bad is the accompanying lack of a quick and easy shut off. Hours before, information leaked out that natural gas withdrawals from Aliso Canyon by SoCal Gas were quietly okayed over the weekend, riling a […]

Budget Panel Picks Apart Energy Budgets

9 Mar

A Senate budget subcommittee questioned some of the governor’s proposed budget items for the energy agencies, including different funding sources for electric vehicle charging. Included in the new potential funding pots for EV infrastructure is money from the California Energy Commission’s solar homes and air quality programs. “This raises key policy questions,” Legislative Analyst Brian […]


5 Mar

Amid many moving pieces, Southern California Edison is soliciting preferred resources to meet local power capacity needs in the Moorpark subarea of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties beginning in summer of 2021. Included in the mix are a potential transmission alternative and a transition from utility provided power to community choice. Preferred resources typically include […]

CPUC Proposes Multi-Year Resource Adequacy Requirement

22 Feb

Facing growing concerns about the cost of assuring resource adequacy for the state’s electric grid, the California Public Utilities Commission rolled out a plan to establish a multi-year capacity procurement obligation, which it debuted at a meeting Feb. 22. The proposal comes against the backdrop of the grid operator recently resorting to reliability must-run contracts […]

Planners Discuss Western Transmission Projects

22 Feb

Western transmission system planners gathered Feb. 22 at the California Independent System Operator’s headquarters in Folsom to share information about new transmission facilities across the western U.S. Tom Green, planning management committee chair for WestConnect and Xcel Energy, noted that increasing numbers of wind and solar facilities being built in the West to serve California […]

Undercurrents: Grid Regionalization Legislation Rises

21 Feb

Grid regionalization legislation appears to be back on the table, with draft language being circulated in Sacramento by Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena). Holden amended a bill late in last year’s legislative session to include provisions to allow the California Independent System Operator to move forward with a regionalized western grid […]

Olsen Elected to Chair CAISO’s Board

15 Feb

David Olsen became the new chair of the California Independent System Operator board Feb. 15 to replace Richard Maullin, who has served as chair for some five years. CAISO’s Board of Governors elected Olsen to a one-year term as chair. They also elected Angelina Galiteva to serve as vice chair in the year ahead. Maullin […]


6 Feb

Updated Feb. 8. NRG sold $2.8 billion of its assets a few months after announcing it was putting many of its renewable energy projects up for sale. NRG generating facilities in the Golden State or supplying electricity to California not included in the massive sale are its 195 MW interest in the Ivanpah solar thermal […]

The Buzz

2 Feb

California energy regulators and fire safety agencies are working together to try and curb the dangers of the growing numbers of intense wildfires, with a worrisome number sparked by power lines. The California Public Utilities Commission president and other officials lament the inadequacy of resources, policies and preparation during an all day meeting. Fire safety […]

CAISO Pitches RMR Changes to Improve Playing Field

31 Jan

The grid operator is proposing to add must offer obligations to its reliability must run mechanism to ameliorate protests over the deals it signed last year. During a Jan. 30 stakeholder meeting, California Independent System Operator staff proposed revising its controversial RMR contracting mechanism to put contracts on par with utility resource adequacy agreements. Utilities […]


23 Jan

The California Public Utilities Commission approved a statewide fire threat map highlighting areas with higher and extreme risks from utility associated wildfires. The state fire threat map, approved Jan. 19, ranks fire hazards to people and property. It also aims to implement new CPUC fire-safety rules, including on utility vegetation management. The new rules require […]

OPINIONATED: The Sorry State Of Demand Response, Smart Meters/Dumb Tariffs

22 Jan

 By Fereidoon Sioshansi The Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to conduct an annual survey of demand response and advanced metering in the U.S. The 12th edition of the report was released in Dec. 2017 and anyone looking for major revelations is likely to be disappointed. Not much happens from […]

The Buzz

18 Jan

The California grid operator plans to move into the western reliability coordination market. And, it plans to do so at a steep discount. An independent group of scientists finds that gas storage fields are needed now, but might later be converted to store clean fuels or captured carbon dioxide. Forthcoming federal standards aim to improve […]

ISO Plans Discounted Western Reliability Services

18 Jan

The California grid operator is working to expand its services to include reliability coordination and expects it to cost potentially less than half of what’s charged by Peak Reliability, the current reliability coordinator in the West. “We have a fairly high confidence that the cost will be at least a 50 percent discount to Peak […]

CAISO Plans Big Energy Market Expansion

9 Jan

The California Independent System Operator plans to significantly broaden its real-time Energy Imbalance Market to include its much larger day-ahead market. “We believe we can get many of the benefits of full regionalization,” said Greg Cook, CAISO director of infrastructure, during a Jan. 8 briefing to the EIM body of state regulators. He said the […]

CAISO To Replace Peak Reliability as Reliability Coordinator

3 Jan

The California grid operator plans to begin providing reliability coordination services in its territory and potentially to other interested balancing authorities in the western U.S. beginning in late 2019. The California Independent System Operator announced its plan Jan. 2 in response to the expected departure of Mountain West Transmission Group from Peak Reliability and the […]