Skip to comments.Cal ISO Transmission Emergency-Oops, I did it again
Posted on 05/04/2004 1:47:22 PM PDT by Robert357
On Monday May 3, 2004 at 1117 PDT the CAISO issued a system warning due to lack of available capacity and higher than anticipated temperatures and loads in Southern California. At 1420 the CAISO declared a Transmission Emergency. They dropped 122 MW of pump load and requested SCE to drop all available interruptible load. SDG&E had already initiated interruptible load shedding. Approximately 700-750 MW of load relief was experienced. CAISO Pump load was restored at 1741. At 2200 the CAISO terminated the Restricted Maintenance Operation. At 2359 the CAISO terminated the Transmission Emergency
(Excerpt) Read more at wecc.biz ...
What should be especially scary is B.C. Hydro has just announced that their reserviors aren't doing to well and that they are going to need to make some market purchases of electric power to support their own needs and contracts.
Hmmmm...economic laws of supply and demand? Major drought. Low hydro reservoirs in British Columbia. BC Hyrdo major seller of low cost hydro power to California being in the market competing against California for surplus electricity. Hmmm....could be an interesting and expensive summer in California. Yes, there is a difference between a transmission problem and a bulk power supply problem. But when California's major interties don't bring in the hydro power from the PNW, it gets hard to push electricity from California power plants through the California transmission system to southern California.
Some Southern California businesses were asked to curtail energy use Monday as a heat wave increased power demand and led to transmission problems.
Power lines near Chino became overloaded as average temperatures hovered around 101 degrees in Southern California, creating the highest demand for electricity so far this year. The unusually hot May weather came as several power plants in the southern part of the state were off-line for maintenance, and not enough power could be sent from north to south.
Statewide, the peak demand for electricity was nearly 3,000 megawatts higher than forecast. A megawatt is enough to power about 750 homes.
Northern California was not affected by the power squeeze, and the problems did not threaten a return to rolling blackouts.
However, the "transmission emergency,'' declared for late afternoon by the California Independent System Operator, forced Southern California Edison to ask several large-energy users to use less power. The customers, mostly manufacturers, pay less per megawatt if they agree to cut electricity use during high demand periods. It was the first time in nearly two years that power grid managers called on businesses that participate in the program to cut usage.
Grid operators also called on homeowners to avoid using appliances like dishwashers and washing machines until after 6 p.m.
Despite the unusually hot temperatures Monday, the state had enough power, according to Stephanie McCorkle, director of communications for the grid operator.
"It just wasn't in the right place,'' she said.
The emergency came a few weeks after the agency issued a summer forecast, warning that electricity supplies would be tight this year as the state faced record demand for electricity. Other agencies such as the California Energy Commission say new power plants must be built or the state could face serious shortages by 2006.
But along with increasing supply, experts also say transmission lines must be upgraded. Along with some shortages in 2001's energy crisis, blackouts were caused by overloaded power lines.
This has repeatedly resulted in the ISO finding itself in a situation with no good options but to either pay outrageous prices or curtail load (i.e. load shedding of interruptible load or if load shedding doesn't solve the problem, blackouts).
I have seen a lot of power systems and been involved up close and personal in a lot of electric power load forecasting, but I am constantly amazed that California doesn't have a better forecasting program. To be surprised on short notice with a 3,000 MW error is like needing to find 3 large nuclear power plants just sitting around doing nothing that you can call on for you forecasting errors. That is a heck of a lot of extra generating reserves that the system to carry just to compensate for bad forecasting.
Since the California Attorney General suggested that power company executives should go to prison, it seems they would be reluctant to expand their operations and incur his wrath.
California Electricity Oversight Board (EOB)
Formed by the California Legislature to perform three functions: To oversee the Independent System Operator and the Power Exchange; To determine the composition and terms of service and to appoint the members of the governing boards of the Independent System Operator and the Power Exchange; To serve as an appeal board for majority decisions of the Independent System Operator governing board.
You see the Democratic Party controlled California Legislature is the key to making changes at the top of the ISO. I would have expected that Davis, before he stepped down loaded the things with his folks and political appointees to the maximum extent possible.
As such, it will take a while for Arnold to make changes, even though changes really really need to be made.
If you follow the link you will find biographic information on the three well intentioned party hacks who make sure that the folks running the ISO do the right thing. Yeah right!
well, maybe done for next year
If water levels continue to fall, [Lake] Powell will be unable to generate electricity as early as 2007 or sooner, some hydrologists say. And it would be reduced more or less to the old riverbed channel of the Colorado River not long after that. Even now, the lake's managers say, it would take a decade of historically normal rainfall to refill it.
"It just wasn't in the right place,'' she said.
Hey, why doesn't Arnold call up some of the "energy pirates" California is suing for
relieving congestion"gaming the system" and ask them to help out?
Roughly five years ago (prior to the "Classical" crisis) the FERC did an extensive report on the failures of the mid-term forecasting system. Their primary concern was that the system operators were more or less completely inept in the day-ahead area, and that because of that we'd find ourselves getting whipsawed by the suppliers when we had to make mayday runs on the spot market.
The FERC was sufficiently irate that they levied something like a million bucks in fines. The state just blew the whole thing off, until the situation that FERC predicted happened. Whereupon, our Governor immediately went to work blaming it on someone else.
Arnold will solve this as soon as he gets back from playing RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.
You are correct. The Cal ISO staff needs to do a better job of forecasting.
However, heads are not rolling within the ISO after several years of pretty poor forecasting. So the internal ISO office politics is such that "accountability" isn't important in one of the ISO's prime functions.
Earlier this year the ISO admitted publicly, that the loads grew faster than they had anticipated and because of that they didn't get reserve generation lined up quickly enough to avoid a load shedding situation in Southern California. Nothing has changed, and I haven't seen any Cal ISO press releases about firing staff and hiring new forecasting staff to resolve the problem.
If the ISO Management and oversight team isn't firing people and keeping the ISO accountable, then it there needs to be some changes in the oversight boards that appoint the leaders of the ISO, who hire and fire the staff of the ISO. There needs to be staff accountability for the forecasts produced by ISO staff.