A 15 percent reserve margin for this summer is apparently not good enough for the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) because of the wallop a heat wave could deliver to the grid. With this year?s demand increasing at 3.56 percent over last year and a peak forecast of 44,000 MW, along with 434 MW less capacity than last summer, a sudden hot spell could send the system into voluntary load shedding unless increased conservation kicks in, according to the CAISO board. ?For real-time operations it makes us a little nervous,? Mary Jo Thomas, CAISO operations engineer, said of the staff?s ?summer assessment? during the board?s April 22 meeting. She added that staff anticipate adequate reserves to meet summer peaks, but when grilled by CAISO chair Michael Kahn she became less assured. Kahn said that the ?guesses? staff were making on summer supply and demand are just that?guesses. ?If the weather decides to act up, the reserve capacity completely disappears? in October, Kahn said. He asked staff to meet with the governor?s personnel and advise them of the potential problem. Kahn is expected to be replaced soon by a pick by the governor?s administration. Like the grid operator?s summer assessment, most of the board?s meeting was advisory, but it did vote to approve the Metcalf?Moss Landing reinforcement project. The Pacific Gas & Electric project would replace the current transmission line conductor with a bigger conductor for $29 million. The 35-mile line runs through some environmentally sensitive areas. PG&E promised $2.7 million to prepare a California Environmental Quality Act analysis. A new plan to include and assuage CAISO?s clients?generators, transmission owners, and traders?was detailed for the board. Since CAISO?s inception, complaints from stakeholders are incessant. The board welcomed a new approach, with Kahn noting, ?FERC is concerned about our client relations.? CAISO promises to go to greater lengths to include and adopt its clients? viewpoints, including a promise of mutual ?collegiality.? Tom Doughty, CAISO client relations director, also promised a better Web interface and screening for users.