NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: Moving California Toward A Regional Power Market

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    Wednesday, January 05, 2022

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Moving California Toward A Regional Power Market

    CAISO Board Focuses on Near Term Needs and Long Term Ambitions

    Herman K. Trabish, September 27, 2021 (California Current)

    Editor’s note: Work to create a regional market is now accelerating.

    The California grid operator is keeping close tabs on climate crisis-driven wildfires and outage uncertainties while looking down the road towards a regional power market.

    Despite wildfires across CAISO’s region, power system conditions have been relatively stable since mid-July, but “extraordinary action” is still needed for procurement of emergency resources, California Independent System Operator President and Chief Executive Officer Elliot Mainzer reported to the power system and market operator’s board Sept. 23.

    “The prolonged drought, more extreme weather, wildfires, and diminished hydro have increased reliability risks,” Mainzer said. If needed this fall, CAISO will dispatch emergency generation to protect reliability, and mitigate costs for consumers in California and other Western states

    Solicitations under CAISO’s just-instituted Significant Event Capacity Procurement Mechanism produced short-term contracts for 624 MW for July, 650 MW for August, and approximately 400 MW for September, Mainzer said. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s July 30 emergency proclamation allows greater access to existing back-up generation on a short-term basis, waiving pollution limits, through CAISO’s emergency capacity procurement mechanism for reliability, he added.

    CAISO also is putting greater urgency on transmission planning, Mainzer said. It cannot meet clean energy objectives and protect reliability without “the transmission capacity to send power where it is needed and displace older generating resources.” New processes and tools enable greater situational awareness and system operator coordination against Western Interconnection fire threats…

    CAISO is also working to build regional coordination. The CAISO Board finalized approval of new governance provisions giving its Energy Imbalance Market Governing Body a bigger role. Decisions impacting both the EIM real time market and the larger CAISO day ahead market will now require majority approval from each authority. The new rules also provide procedures for settling disputes when interests diverge… click here for more

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