Exploring regional solutions
The California ISO is continually pursuing strategies to manage higher amounts of renewable energy into the electricity system. Studies by the ISO show that expanding the energy market across the western US region would accelerate California’s efforts to meet the state’s ambitious clean energy goals, while saving costs, lowering emissions, and promoting economic growth.
Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 188
Read the bill: ACR 188 Independent System Operator: regional cooperation: study
Meeting Mar 8, 2023
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Final report - Feb 27, 2023
ISO Transmittal Letter
ACR 188 Final Report
ISO Responses to Comments on ACR 188 Jan 20, 2023 Stakeholder Meeting
Documents and presentations
ACR 188 is a California Assembly Resolution introduced by Chris Holden (D, Pasadena), along with 74 co-authors. The Resolution was passed by both houses of the California Legislature and filed with the Secretary of State on August 19, 2022.
The important excerpt of ACR 188 reads:
“This measure would request that by February 28, 2023, the Independent System Operator, in consultation with the California balancing authorities, produce a report that summarizes recent relevant studies on the impacts of expanded regional cooperation on California and identifies key issues that will most effectively advance the state’s energy and environmental goals, including any available studies that reflect the impact of regionalization on transmission costs and reliability for California ratepayers, relevant updates to specified transmission development and resource diversity estimates, and discussion of regional transmission organizations in Colorado, Nevada, and other regional states, collaboration between states on energy policies to maximize consumer savings while respecting state policy autonomy, and engagement between neighboring states on the future of regional transmission organizations in the west.”
Per the Resolution, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) is to prepare a report summarizing recent relevant studies on the impacts of expanded regional cooperation on California and, among other things, discuss engagement between neighboring states on regional transmission organizations in the west. The ISO has made the decision to use an independent consultant, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to author the Report in partnership with the ISO and other California Balancing Authorities (BAs).
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Home Page
THE GOALS AND DRIVERS OF THE RESOLUTION
- Support California state policy that renewable energy and zero-carbon resources will supply 100 percent of electric retail sales to end-use customers by 2045.
- Support State’s goal to modernize the electricity sector and grid system, including upgrading existing and new transmission infrastructure to meet growing electrification across industries.
- Many western states and utilities have adopted their own policies to achieve a clean resource mix and reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, which are consistent with California.
- Momentum is building across the western states for greater regional coordination to ensure that electricity is available at all hours of the day, including during peak and net-peak periods to replace retired and retiring generating facilities and meet future needs.
- Reliability challenges are also mounting and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) reported that over the next 10 years the west would not be able to meet established reliability metrics without significant additions of capacity.
- California is already dependent on its neighbors, historically importing approximately one-third of its total energy requirements and routinely importing significantly more resources from its neighboring states during the most critical summer days.
- A State Joint Agency report found that increased multistate coordination “offers significant potential to ease importation and integration of additional renewable energy facilities in regions where resource attributes match or complement California’s seasonal and daily operational needs.
- The Western Energy Imbalance Market (WEIM) is working well and the Extended Day-ahead Market (EDAM) should expand benefits.
- Other western studies indicate more collaboration could provide more benefits to California and the west.
- It is in the public interest of the State of California to collaborate, coordinate on policy, and share systems and resources with our neighboring western states when opportunities for mutual benefit exist.
- The Legislature should have current and comprehensive information on the impacts to California of expanding the existing California Independent System Operator into a regional organization.
SCOPE OF REPORT
- Identify and summarize recent relevant studies on the impacts of expanded regional cooperation on California.
- Identify key issues from the studies that will most effectively advance the state’s energy and environmental goals; including any available studies that reflect the impact of regionalization on transmission costs and reliability for California ratepayers. Include any relevant updates to the transmission development and resource diversity estimates in the 2021 Senate Bill (SB) 100 Joint Agency Report, prepared pursuant to SB 100.
- Summarize recent actions in other states with regards to regional transmission organizations (including Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and other regional states)
- Summarize recent collaboration between states on energy policies to maximize consumer savings while respecting state policy autonomy, and engagement between neighboring states on the future of regional transmission organizations in the west.
The ISO will coordinate closely with the California BAs and NREL to implement the requests described in ACR 188. The ISO will also work to support meaningful stakeholder engagement in this effort, inviting interested stakeholders to: 1) assist NREL and the ISO with identifying key relevant studies; and 2) provide feedback on a draft NREL-ISO summary report.
We welcome input or questions throughout the process. For questions or comments, please contact
infoACR188@caiso.com. We will post relevant material to this page.
SB 350 Study
Explore the regional energy market, find answers and explore the benefits of the SB 350 study in the fact sheets below.
Documents and presentations
SB 350 study fact sheets
Technical reports and studies