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December 2020  •  Issue 32
As a federally regulated nonprofit, the ISO plans and operates the state’s high-voltage electric grid for California and a portion of Nevada

ISO Board issues RMR designation to preserve grid reliability


To help ensure the capacity and energy needed to meet next summer’s electricity demand is available, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) Board of Governors designated a 250 megawatt (MW) power plant as a reliability must-run (RMR) resource.

The board’s unanimous decision at its December meeting retains 250 MW of needed generation by ensuring that Midway Sunset Cogeneration Company’s facility remains in service, and enables one previously mothballed unit to return to service.

Generators identified as RMR resources are required to remain in service to provide energy and resource adequacy capacity even though their available capacity is not currently under contract. The board’s action requires the ISO to enter into an agreement directly with Midway Sunset Cogeneration Company.

The agreement will require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval to ensure that Midway Sunset Cogeneration Company’s facility remains in service, and enable one previously-mothballed unit to return to service for 2021.

For more, read the news release.

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The ISO adopts new tools to enhance grid reliability


The Board of Governors adopted market tools to help integrate new battery storage resources, and improve overall reliability.

The board’s approval of Hybrid Resources Phase 2 in November will help accommodate more than 1,500 megawatts (MW) of storage capacity expected to connect to the grid by the end of next year.

The proposal adopted by the board:

  • Allows hybrid storage resources to provide energy and ancillary services to help maintain the reliability of the transmission system, and provide visibility into the amount of energy the resources can provide in real-time
  • Expands the functionality of co-located batteries by allowing such storage resources to provide grid reliability services
  • Improves forecasting and operators’ visibility into the resource during the day
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) also adopted the Hybrid Resources Phase 1 tariff revisions. Implemented in December, Phase 1 supports the ISO’s efforts to prepare for next summer by allowing for the efficient dispatch of co-located resources which helps avoid the potential for stranded capacity, and requiring hybrid resources to provide meteorological data to improve visibility into their renewable energy production.

    For more, read the news release.

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New 2021 Summer Readiness webpage launched

summer 2021 readiness

The ISO launched a webpage dedicated to helping the public understand the August 2020 outages and monitor progress to fortify grid reliability in preparation for next summer’s hot weather.

The 2021 Summer Readiness webpage offers quick access to data, reports, and all ongoing activities surrounding the rotating power outages implemented in August, offering a full picture of the causes, the lessons learned, and enhancements in the pipeline.

The new webpage provides the most recent evaluations of the outages, including the findings of the independent Department of Market Monitoring (DMM), which uncovered no evidence of market manipulation leading up to or following the power shortages. The webpage includes updates on specific actions and initiatives to ensure reliable system operations, and information about how stakeholders can provide input and stay informed.

For more, read the news release.

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    Visitor and meeting restrictions extended to 2021

    covid restrictions

    To align with state mandates to prevent spread of the Covid-19 virus, the ISO will continue its restrictions on in-person and off-site meetings and facility tours, until further notice.

    Meetings will continue to occur via teleconference or webinars, and stakeholders will keep receiving notifications and updates through Daily Briefings and

    The ISO has also reissued protocols for staff to work from home to the maximum extent possible, along with strict guidelines for essential employees doing their jobs at ISO buildings, including health screenings, wearing facemasks, and social distancing.

    The ISO’s continuation of its pandemic policies are in response to a recent significant surge in reported Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in California, and new and evolving state mandates regarding business practices.

    For more, read the news release.

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