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Access to the grid and market

The ISO provides open and non-discriminatory access to the transmission grid, supported by a competitive energy market for resources generating one megawatt or more. Depending on the resource capabilities, market participants can elect to bid into the energy and ancillary services market or sell other electricity products.


Process and requirements

Generator interconnection application process
Requirements and resources for Generating Facilities seeking interconnection with the transmission grid in the California ISO Balancing Authority Area.
New resource implementation process
Guidelines, deliverables and activities during the final 210 days of an interconnection project to enable resource interconnection to the ISO grid and participation in our market.

Participating generator certification

To participate in the market, generators must enter into a participating generator agreement (PGA) with the ISO. For additional information on the participating generator certification process, fill out the new entrant contact form.
  • Participating generator agreements and information request sheets
    Large Generator Interconnection Agreements are required for generators 20 megawatts or larger seeking to hook up to the grid. Small Generator Interconnection Agreements are required for projects under 20 megawatts. Please provide the required information to initiate meter service and other agreements early in the process.
  • Resource data submission
    The Generator Resource Data Template and the Intertie Resource Data Template are used to submit requests to add or change specific operating parameters that reside in the Master File. For updates to existing data, scheduling coordinators must make any changes on the templates downloaded from the Master File user interface or application programming interface. Scheduling coordinators then submit updated templates using the user interface UPLOAD function or the programming interface SUBMIT services. Requests for new system resources should be sent to in the New Intertie Resource Request template.
  • Participating generator certification application access
    Generators and their scheduling coordinators use a variety of ISO applications to manage resource outages, dispatches, meter data and resource operating characteristics.
  • Regulatory must-take generation
  • Automated Dispatch System (ADS)
Metering and telemetry

The ISO facilitates the timely installation and certification of revenue metering, as well as telemetry for participating generating units.

Options for participating generators

The ISO provides opportunities for a range of resource types.

  • Multi-stage generation
    Multi-stage generator modeling optimizes the commitment and dispatch of generating units that have multiple operating configurations.
  • Participating intermittent resources
    This program allows wind and solar resources to schedule energy into the real-time energy market without incurring imbalance charges when the delivered energy deviates from the scheduled amount. For more information, refer to the Business Practice Manual for Market Operations.
  • Qualified reporting entity
    The role of the Qualified Reporting Entity (QRE) is to submit meter data associated with renewable energy on behalf of ISO Metered Entities (ISO polled) using the WREGIS application. Generator Owner/Agent needs to complete, sign, and submit original hard copies of the Service Request Form and Service Agreement to begin the QRE process with the California ISO.
  • Regulatory must-take generation
  • Station power program
    Station power — the energy used to operate auxiliary equipment and other load that is directly related to the production of energy — can be converted from retail service to wholesale service.
  • Use-limited resources
    Resources that have operational or environmental restrictions that limit production hours but can operate for a minimum set of consecutive trading hours may be considered use-limited.

Distributed generation
Generation developers seeking interconnection to a local distribution system must arrange for interconnection with the local utility and with ISO if they wish to participate in the wholesale market.

Ancillary services
Ancillary Services Certification is required for Participating Generators and Participating Load to bid Ancillary Services.