The California electric transmission grid operator’s (Cal-ISO’s)26-member board today will consider various proposals from itsmembers and staff for imposing some form of wholesale price capsunder its existing federal authorization to do so. They would betargeted at specific generators or demand levels.
Articles from Grid
California’s State Auditor General formally began contacting the state’s nonprofit electric grid operator (Cal-ISO) and wholesale spot power market (Cal-PX) Wednesday in a state legislature-ordered investigation that could lead to the merger of the two entities. The state’s electricity price spikes and supply shortfall this summer prompted legislative action in August ordering the probe.
California’s State Auditor General formally began contacting thestate’s nonprofit electric grid operator (Cal-ISO) and wholesalespot power market (Cal-PX) Wednesday in a state legislature-orderedinvestigation that could lead to the merger of the two entities.The state’s electricity price spikes and supply shortfall thissummer prompted legislative action in August ordering the probe.
Rather than “blaming just about everyone and everything” for thereliability problems of the electric transmission grid, SenateEnergy Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) urged Energy Secretary BillRichardson to take “immediate and meaningful action” to address thesituation in the short term, while Congress tries to work out alonger term solution.
In the midst of a Stage Two emergency alert by the state gridoperator, California generating plants used every cubic foot ofnatural gas they could squeeze through the state’s pipeline systemto keep the air conditioners humming in response to a statewideheat wave throughout the inland valleys and deserts. The secondstage alert, enacted less than two hours after a Stage One had beencalled, required major utilities to seek voluntary curtailmentsamong some of their largest power users.
Although the Northeast power grid remained under heavy stressTuesday from an intense heat wave, hourly spot prices for electricitywere backing off from the peaks of $6,000/MWh hit Monday afternoon inthe ISO New England service area (see related story in this issue). Although gasprices continued to advance Tuesday, a large aggregator felt confidentin predicting they will be following power quotes lower today.
Commercial operation began at two CMS Energy gas-firedgenerating plants in Michigan, adding 199 MW of capacity to thestate’s power grid for use this summer. The units, owned by CMSEnergy’s independent power unit, CMS Generation Co., will helpassure electric system reliability during peak demand periods.
In a move FERC said will “create a more integrated and efficientinterstate pipeline grid,” the Commission adopted standards thisweek that will expand from one to three the number of intra-daynomination opportunities for shippers on all interstate pipelines.The intra-day nomination schedule was proposed by the Gas IndustryStandard’s Board in March, by FERC in a notice of proposedrulemaking in April and this week was made part of the Commission’sregulations with required pipeline implementation by Nov. 2.
FERC has scheduled a public conference for April 15-16 toexamine the future of ISOs in administering the electrictransmission grid on a regional basis. The Commission isconsidering whether policy changes are necessary “in order topromote competition and reliability in bulk power markets.”