Grid Operator Makes Sutter Play

By Published On: February 17, 2012

The California Independent System Operator is attempting to keep the 525 MW Sutter Energy Center on line because it and other power plants that are able to rapidly ramp up and down help to stabilize the electric transmission grid. “There will be a significant hole [in ramping resources] absent any action by the end of the decade,” Steve Berberich, grid operator chief executive officer said Feb. 17. He added the grid may be deficient of ramping capacity between 3,000 MW and 5,000 MW. CAISO filed for a tariff waiver at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Jan. 26 to continue the Sutter contract (Current, Jan, 27, 2012). “The ISO has the authority to procure a plant that is at risk of retirement and needed for reliability,” noted Berberich. He added that if the California Public Utilities Commission decides to keep the plant open, the grid operator intends to withdraw its federal action.

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