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April 2019  •   Issue 19
As a federally regulated nonprofit organization, the ISO plans and operates the state's high-voltage electric grid and "keeps the lights on" for California and a portion of Nevada.

ISO finalizes its 2018-2019 Transmission Plan

Transmission Plan

Culminating a 15-month planning process, the ISO finalized its 2018-2019 Transmission Plan, a comprehensive assessment of California’s transmission needs that identifies upgrades necessary over the next decade.

This year’s plan, approved last month by the ISO’s Board of Governors, identified 13 projects estimated to cost $644.4 million within the Pacific Gas & Electric service territory that are needed to maintain system reliability.

The ISO develops the plan in collaboration with stakeholders, the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission.

Of the 13 approved projects, 11 are reliability-driven, and two are economic-driven. The plan also canceled six transmission projects located within the PG&E service territory avoiding $440 to $550 million in costs.

In addition to the new transmission projects, the 2018-2019 Transmission Plan includes special studies that focus on local capacity areas and gas-fired generation requirements, and increasing the transfer of low-carbon resources throughout the Northwest.

View the Board approved 2018-2019 Transmission Plan on the transmission planning process webpage.

More information is available in the news release.

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SMUD begins participation in the Western EIM


The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), part of the Balancing Authority of Northern California (BANC), successfully began full participation in the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) on April 3.

The Western EIM, operated by the ISO, is a real-time, wholesale energy trading market that enables its participants to buy and sell energy when needed in the western United States. Since its launch in 2014, the Western EIM has produced more than a half billion dollars in benefits while reducing carbon emissions by 324,000 metric tons.

“The Western EIM demonstrates the economic and environmental savings achieved when participants work collaboratively across the region,” said ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich. “As one of the premiere community-owned utilities in the country, SMUD’s participation will only strengthen the market and add to its efficiency and diversity.”

“SMUD sees significant financial, operational and resource value in participating in the Western EIM due to its broader regional scope and dispatch,” said SMUD CEO Arlen Orchard. “The EIM’s geographic diversity allows easier and more economical balancing and integration of intermittent renewable energy resources, helping SMUD meet its and California’s aggressive renewable and carbon-reduction goals. SMUD is pleased to have forged this important partnership with the CAISO and the other EIM participants to further these goals.”

“BANC is excited to be the first publicly owned agency to become an EIM entity in the Western EIM”, said BANC General Manager Jim Shetler. “We found the CAISO staff to be extremely helpful in assisting us in what was a very smooth transition effort. BANC is currently evaluating future participation by its other members.”

To learn more about the Western EIM, visit our website at

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ISO creates RC West Oversight Committee


The ISO’s Reliability Coordinator service, RC West, held its inaugural meeting of its Oversight Committee last month.

The Oversight Committee, comprised of representatives from the 39 signed entities, elected Michelle Cathcart as its chair and Steve Cobb as the vice chair during its March 14 meeting. The Oversight Committee provides guidance and fosters consensus on reliability compliance for the RC West. The next Oversight Committee meeting is scheduled for April 17.

RC West is responsible for the reliable operation of the power grid and bulk electricity system. It complies with federal and regional grid standards and can authorize measures to prevent or mitigate system emergencies in day-ahead or real-time operations. RC West has 39 participating entities.

“We’re pleased that the ISO’s RC West is achieving targeted milestones, and on track to begin operations later this year,” said ISO president and CEO Steve Berberich. “We welcome the participation from balancing authorities and transmission operators throughout the western United States, Canada, and Mexico, and view this as a positive example of regional collaboration.”

The ISO launched an RC West Oversight Committee webpage, for convenient public access to meeting schedules and agendas, related materials and documents, and committee activities. The page includes a list and map of entities that have signed agreements for services, and the committee charter.

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Keeping up with the ISO


Life in the energy sector moves fast, which is why the California ISO offers a variety of ways to stay up-to-date on things going on at the organization.

One of the best ways to stay in the information loop is to follow our Twitter account, @California_ISO. Through this platform, the ISO shares news and updates from the ISO and energy sector, daily peak renewables data, information about upcoming events, notifications of important document postings, and more.

In addition, the ISO has an account dedicated to market notices, @ISOMarketNotice. This Twitter channel allows followers, stakeholders, and interested parties to track market notice postings in real-time. Each market notice is shared on this account as soon as it is published to the website, and includes a direct link to the notice.

The ISO created this dedicated account to be the source for the day’s market notices, website and calendar updates, posting announcements, and recent regulatory activity.

Another way to track ISO news and activities is to subscribe to our RSS feeds, which are available on the ISO website.

For more information on monitoring ISO news and activities, visit subscriptions and notifications.


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