California ISO's Winter 'shocked' by FERC order


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Apr. 13, 2001—Terry Winter, CEO of the California Independent System Operator, said he was "shocked" the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission upheld a previous order requiring California electricity buyers be creditworthy.

Winter testified before a California Legislature House Committee on Government Reform earlier this week. The ISO had challenged FERC's Feb. 14 order to that effect. Generators then filed a complaint with FERC asking the federal regulators to force the grid operator to obey the order.

The ISO also had challenged the FERC order by pursuing a separate case in federal court. It obtained a temporary restraining order forcing generators to sell power in the real-time market even though Southern California Edison Co. and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. were not reimbursing the ISO for power purchased on their behalf.

On Apr. 5, a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco stayed the order and said it was likely the generators would prevail before the full appeals court. The next day FERC clarified its order.

The dispute between the generators and the ISO concerned the ability of the ISO to issue emergency power dispatch instructions to avert an emergency without regard to credit considerations.

"This will certainly complicate our ability to maintain the reliability of the interconnected grid," Winter said.

Even if the overwhelming majority of electricity is arranged for in advance, he said, unanticipated outages occur that force the ISO to buy power in the real-time market to keep the grid intact and the lights on.

"It is always necessary for the system operator to take actions to fine tune the alignment of supply and demand in real time," Winter said.

Recently, the ISO has come up short. The ISO has two choices, Winter said. It can curtail service or call up available generation with emergency dispatch instructions. But FERC's Feb. 14 order said the ISO can no longer issue these emergency dispatch instructions without the backing of a creditworthy entity.

The situation has become even more problematic now that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has filed for bankruptcy reorganization and Southern California Edison is waiting for a state-sponsored bailout. The state has stepped in as the buyer of last resort, but questions remain over whether the state will assume responsibility for paying for the all the power needed to run the system over and above what the utilities are self-generating.

Winter said the ISO will continue to issue dispatch instructions, despite the creditworthiness issue to avert or lessen a system emergency.

"It would be my hope that the generators who can help will do so, that they will recognize their public responsibility," he said. "If they choose not to respond it will be their choice, and they will bear the consequences."

Sponsored by FLSmidth
Related Articles
 Palo Verde nuclear power plant is US’ largest producer for 23rd time

Palo Verde nuclear power plant is US’ largest producer for 23rd time

The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona reached its 23rd consecutive year as the nation’s largest power producer.

Employment in power sector declines, except for renewable generators

According to the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as published on the website of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (eia), the electric power generation sector lost more than 5,800 jobs from January 2011 to June 2014, despite a gain of nearly 1,800 non-hydro jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter
Latest News

MHPS to supply M501J gas, steam turbines to new combined-cycle power plant in Korea

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), jointly with Marubeni Corp., has received an order f...

Business leaders throw support behind coal plant proposal

Business leaders on Thursday outlined the economic devastation they say could come if New Mex...

TVA seeks public comment for future coal ash storage at Bull Run

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is asking for public input on plans to expand dry onsite...

California Public Utilities Commission Approves NRG Energy’s Carlsbad Energy Center

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved the SDG&E Power Purchase and T...

Vermont joins international effort to fight climate change

Gov. Peter Shumlin says Vermont has signed on to what he called a first-of-its-kind agreement...

Products May 2015

Callaway Energy Center's Replacement Reactor Vessel Closure Head Project

Replacing heavy equipment is one way utilities can extend the life and increase the reliabili...

Managing CCRs and Process Water: Why Handling Bottom Ash Wet May Remain The Best Option

The U.S. coal-fired electric generation industry once again finds itself in the crosshairs of...
Power Engineering Current Issue
03/01/2015
Volume 119, Issue 3
1503pe-cover
Products Showcase
Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015

Buyers Guide Company Listings

Power Industry Wire News

MIC President Marybeth Miceli Named to AATA Board of Directors; AATA to Provide Free NDT Job Training to Vets, Disadvantaged Young Adults

MIC President Marybeth Miceli Named to AATA Board of Directors; AATA to Provide Free ND...

Alexium Anticipates Potential Addressable Revenue of More Than US$10M for 2015

Alexium Anticipates Potential Addressable Revenue of More Than US$10M for 2015

Upcoming Greenhouse Webinar Teaches Companies How to Engage Engineers in Hiring Top Tech Talent

Upcoming Greenhouse Webinar Teaches Companies How to Engage Engineers in Hiring Top Tec...

Perma-Fix Environmental Services to Present at the Marcum MicroCap Conference

Perma-Fix Environmental Services to Present at the Marcum MicroCap Conference

Blue Earth Receives Notice From NASDAQ That the Company Is No Longer Subject to a Possible Delisting

Blue Earth Receives Notice From NASDAQ That the Company Is No Longer Subject to a Possi...

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>