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July 2020  •  Issue 28
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 connects largest battery system in the US to the grid


The California Independent System Operator (ISO) connected the largest battery storage resource in the nation to its power grid in June, signaling an era of rapid battery growth on the electricity grid in the next several years.

The initial phase of LS Power Group’s Gateway Energy Storage Project in San Diego County came online June 9, adding 62.5 megawatts (MW) of storage interconnection to the ISO grid. The power grid currently has just over 216 MW of storage capacity in commercial operation. If all planned projects in the interconnection queue are completed on schedule, storage capacity will jump to 923 MW by the end of 2020, a six-fold rise from 136 MW at the beginning of the year.

Batteries are widely seen as an important strategy for incorporating and managing rising amounts of renewables onto electricity grids.

The Gateway project, a lithium-ion battery system, will have a total capacity of 250 MW when it is in full operation in August, making it reportedly the largest operating Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in the world.

For more information, read the news release.

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New tool enhances initiative comment process


As part of our commitment to improve customer service and stakeholder processes, the ISO is launching its online commenting tool in August to standardize the submission and management of stakeholder comments.

Stakeholder input is vital to the success of the ISO’s development and implementation of new market designs, policies and infrastructure planning. The stakeholder initiative process allows all stakeholders to provide valuable feedback that helps shape the future of the ISO’s energy markets and operations.

To enhance and streamline the initiative development process, the ISO created a commenting tool with functions that make it easier for stakeholders to view comments with a single click, filter and organize comments, along with having the ability to download selected comments in a spreadsheet format. The online comments template will allow stakeholders to incorporate graphics, tables and footnotes within their comments. The new tool also strengthens cyber security for the ISO and stakeholders.

The ISO’s ongoing stakeholder initiatives are available on the ISO's Stakeholder Initiatives webpage.

To monitor developments on ongoing stakeholder initiatives, sign up for our Daily Briefing and follow on Twitter at @ISOMarketNotice.

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The ISO extends in-person meeting restrictions


In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ISO is extending restrictions for all in-person meetings at its offices and off-site venues until further notice.

The ISO had previously set September 14 for reopening its offices and resuming in-person meetings. With the recent reports of increased virus cases in California and elsewhere, the ISO is extending the restrictions and will not be scheduling any in-person meetings or tours in the near future, to protect the health of staff, stakeholders, and the community.

Meetings continue to occur via teleconferences or webinars, with the same notifications to stakeholders through notices and the website. The ISO continues to closely monitor outbreak developments, and follow state and county guidelines for public health protocols.

While the pandemic and statewide restrictions have not caused reliability issues with the electricity system, the power grid has experienced a moderate amount of reduced energy usage due to the pandemic and state limitations on businesses. An updated analysis of load impacts is publicly available on the News webpage of the ISO’s website. A COVID-19 section on that page houses all pandemic-related news and presentations.

The ISO will provide periodic updates to help stakeholders actively participate in meetings. Visit for the latest information regarding meetings and visitor restrictions, follow us on Twitter at @California_ISO. To track notices and activities, follow @ISOMarketNotice, and sign up for the Daily Briefing.

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EIM Governing Body elects chair, vice chair


The Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) Governing Body recently elected John Prescott and Anita Decker to serve as its chair and vice chair.

Prescott has been a Governing Body member for four years. He was elected to serve as the chair until June 30, 2021. Prior to joining the Western EIM Governing Body, Prescott was president and chief executive officer of Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative; served as power supply and environmental affairs officer for Seattle City Light; and was vice president of power supply for Idaho Power.

Decker joined the Western EIM Governing Body in 2019 and will serve as vice chair until June 30, 2021. Decker was previously the executive director of the Northwest Public Power Association, served as chief operating officer for the Bonneville Power Administration, and held several positions during her 27-year career at PacifiCorp.

The Western EIM Governing Body oversees the Western EIM real-time energy market, which now has 11 participants and has collectively generated nearly $920 million in gross benefits since its launch in November 2014.

For more information, visit the Western EIM website.

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RC West elects new chair and vice chair


The RC West Oversight Committee recently elected Ben Brandt and Christiaan Hofmann to serve as its chair and vice chair.

The ISO’s RC West is the Reliability Coordinator (RC) of record to 42 balancing authorities and transmission operators in California and Mexico. An RC oversees grid compliance with federal and regional grid standards, and can determine measures to prevent or mitigate system emergencies in day-ahead or real-time operations. The RC also provides leadership in system restoration following major events.

Brandt has more than 15 years of professional experience with Idaho Power and currently serves as its director of load serving operations.

Currently, Hofmann serves as the director of transmission and generation operations for the Salt River Project. He previously served as NV Energy’s director of grid reliability and operations.

Brandt and Hoffman will each serve two-year terms that end in June 2022.

For more information, visit the RC West.

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