30 Nov 2014

Electric storage at 34 projects representing 2,000 MW, should be considered “generation,” according to a draft from the California Independent System Operator Nov. 25. Storage owners are subject to dispatch, including curtailment, just like fossil-fueled or other power sources, according to the grid operator. “It avoids the ineffectiveness of bifurcation that separates separation and load,” noted the agency. Storage helps support wind and solar production. How the market is to treat storage remains unclear. “For interconnection purposes they are basically assuming that there will be enough local transmission and distribution to charge the storage so that energy will be in the storage to meet resource adequacy requirements for 4 hours of discharge,” according to Ed Cazalet, MegaWatt Storage Farms founder.

A one-year extension to file their upcoming cost of capital applications is sought by Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and SoCal Gas. On Nov. 25, they asked the California Public Utilities Commission to allow them to file their upcoming cost of capital applications on April 20, 2016, instead of April 20, 2015, with the current automatic adjustment mechanism in place until the new filing date, stated the utilities’ application. It adds that Office of Ratepayer Advocates and The Utility Reform Network support the request. The Utilities are to receive about a 10% rate of return on equity investments.

Rob Kerth went from being reappointed to the SMUD board to becoming the board’s president-elect in 10 months. The board elected Kerth president Nov. 20. Kerth, previously a commissioner from 2009 to 2012, was appointed in February 2014 to fill the seat of then-recently resigned member Mike Picker. He stepped down after being appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission. In August, Kerth won a full four-year term on the board. At the same meeting, member Nancy Bui-Thompson was elected to a one-year term as vice president.

The California Independent System Operator sought a temporary waiver from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in mid-November because of price volatility in its new Energy Imbalance Market. The price swings since the Nov. 1 launch with PacifiCorp are largely attributed to glitches in the automated dispatch market software, which reduce flexibility and information flows. The 90-day waiver “seeks to use an economic pricing mechanism that governs grid operations in unconstrained conditions, and requests that it be made effective immediately,” stated the grid operator.

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