Public Utilities Reports

PUR Guide 2012 Fully Updated Version

Available NOW!
PUR Guide

This comprehensive self-study certification course is designed to teach the novice or pro everything they need to understand and succeed in every phase of the public utilities business.

Order Now

Squeezing Scarcity From Abundance

California's pursuit of a centralized administrative solution in reliability hinders everyday operational issues.

Fortnightly Magazine - August 2005
  1. ISO could arrange operational reserves on any basis it deemed practical. While a change in purchasing methodology may require approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, it is unlikely that the timing of Cal-ISO's purchases is a controversial issue at FERC-or anywhere other than Cal-ISO.
  2. 2005 Summer Assessment, Cal-ISO, p. 25.
  3. 10-Year Coordinated Plan Summary, WECC, September 2004, p. 36. The conservative nature of reliability planning is often overlooked in California, which is one of the reasons that every WECC reliability planning table includes "Adverse Hydro Conditions" in the upper right corner. This single study, for example, contains the phrase 20 times.
  4. Ibid., see p. 54.
  5. Ibid., p. 28. Note the phrase, "Adverse Hydro Conditions" in the upper right corner of this table.
  6. See Table II-1 of the Cal-ISO 2005 Summer Assessment, p. 5.
  7. A continuing planning problem in California is the lack of transparency at Cal-ISO. These numbers, for example, are not normally secret for utilities elsewhere in the WECC.
  8. Summer 2005 Electricity Supply and Demand Outlook, March 2005, p. 4.
  9. Since the ISO submission is unavailable, it is logical to assume that the forced outages were incorrectly included in the WECC tabulation. If so, this is simply a problem in the ISO's approach to the question, and not an actual adding error.
  10. Summer 2005 Electricity Supply and Demand Outlook, CEC, March 2005, pp. 10-11.
  11. Summer 2005 Electricity Supply and Demand Outlook, CEC, March 2005, p. 5.
  12. Again, this is sorting the table back into the traditional reliability planning format-adding all resources and imports and then comparing that total to the 1-in-2 load forecast.
  13. As noted above, the complex structure of the Cal-ISO has rewarded fraudulent outage reports in the past. Since the incentives for plant maintenance outside of the ISO are relatively simple (if the plant isn't running its owner bears the costs) and complex within the ISO (if the plant isn't running, its owner may actually be able to negotiate higher payments) most analysts would forecast lower outage rates at LADWP rather than higher outage rates.
  14. Summer 2005 Electricity Supply and Demand Outlook, CEC, March 2005, p. 7.
  15. 2005 Summer Operations Assessment, California Independent System Operator, March 23, 2005, p. 35.
  16. Like many rules of thumb in the electric industry, this was selected on the basis of experience and has proven acceptable since it was adopted in the 1960s. For an "oral history" of this value, see Merrill Schultz's comments to the WECC as reported in California Energy Markets , March 11, 2005, p. 5.
  17. The CEC's report assumed 9,903 MW while the ISO assumed 9,700 MW. Documentation for the 9,903 MW assumed by the CEC is on p. 12.
  18. 10-Year Coordinated Plan Summary, WECC, September 2004, p. 28. Again, these estimates are made for "Adverse Hydro Conditions" as noted twice on this page.
  19. Ibid., pp. 36 and 44. Again, these estimates are made for "Adverse Hydro Conditions" as noted four times on these two pages.
  20. 2005 Summer Operations Assessment, California ISO, March 23, 2005, p. 26.
  21. The ISO's SCIT estimate would also be required to accommodate "dynamic" resources