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Cal ISO Transmission Emergency-Oops, I did it again
WECC Daily Report for 5/6/04 ^ | 5/6/04 | WECC daily report

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: blackouts; caliso; calpowercrisis; deregulation
Well, I see that we are a long way from the peak loads of August, but that the California Electric Power Transmission system is barely hanging in there.

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.

1 posted on 05/04/2004 1:47:31 PM PDT by Robert357
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To: Robert357; Ernest_at_the_Beach; snopercod; randita; Dog Gone; Carry_Okie
Thought that you might enjoy the following SF Chronical article as well:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/05/04/BAGDS6F8K91.DTL

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.

--snip--

2 posted on 05/04/2004 1:53:21 PM PDT by Robert357
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To: Robert357
Since the "classical" California Power Crisis days, one of the real problems that the Cal ISO has never gotten its hands around is a decent real time and hour ahead set of load forecasting methods.

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.

3 posted on 05/04/2004 1:58:39 PM PDT by Robert357
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To: Robert357
I haven't heard news of any new power plants being proposed in California lately, and I rather suspect that power companies are not too eager to attempt it. I hope I'm wrong.
4 posted on 05/04/2004 2:02:25 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Robert357
At least with California becoming such a miserable business environment, many of their largest consumers may soon exit the state, thus easing the load on their grid.
5 posted on 05/04/2004 2:12:04 PM PDT by Little Pig
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To: Dog Gone
I haven't heard news of any new power plants being proposed in California lately, and I rather suspect that power companies are not too eager to attempt it. I hope I'm wrong.

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.

6 posted on 05/04/2004 2:22:16 PM PDT by Voltage
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To: Robert357
You would at least think Arnold could get somebody down there who knew how to forecast. I'd bet at the first crash it'll happen fast.
7 posted on 05/04/2004 2:59:29 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Carry_Okie
I am not sure Arnold can do that much except over time.

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.

8 posted on 05/04/2004 3:23:49 PM PDT by Robert357
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To: Robert357; NormsRevenge; SierraWasp; farmfriend; RonDog; John Jorsett; tubebender; SoCal Pubbie
Thanks for the info, I had my air conditioner off, it was hotter than blazes, no air conditioning onshore breeze at all. I think the weather forecasters thought the high pressure system would have moved further east than it actually did. Might have been a contributing factor.
9 posted on 05/04/2004 3:28:09 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Carry_Okie
OK, I did a little more research and found the following website on who are the Board Members and what their backgrounds incude. Party hacks one and all

Click for Electricity Oversight Board members

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!

10 posted on 05/04/2004 3:35:47 PM PDT by Robert357
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To: Dog Gone

well, maybe done for next year

11 posted on 05/04/2004 3:42:46 PM PDT by BurbankKarl
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To: Robert357
It's not the board that does the forecasting, it's the staff. Don't you think Arnold could lean on the board to get a few competent replacements?
12 posted on 05/04/2004 3:46:36 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Robert357
This is shaping up to be the "perfect storm". From Drought Settles In, Lake Shrinks and West's Worries Grow :
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.

13 posted on 05/04/2004 4:24:16 PM PDT by snopercod (I used to be disgusted. Then I became amused. Now I'm disgusted again.)
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To: Carry_Okie
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.

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?

14 posted on 05/04/2004 4:28:10 PM PDT by snopercod (I used to be disgusted. Then I became amused. Now I'm disgusted again.)
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To: Little Pig
, many of their largest consumers may soon exit the state, ......

People and the politicians are irrational, incapable of action. They are capable only of reaction.

It is ironic that the problem percieved by the people might be solved by businesses reacting to an untenable situation that will ameliorate the problem. The people however will howl to the politicos wjo will slowly react to providing an increase in power supply that is no longer needed. By the time it gets accomplished there will be no one left to benefit and the fixed costs of over supply will cause a new round of bitching.

Earthquake of 9.7 magnitude is the only solution.
15 posted on 05/04/2004 4:36:40 PM PDT by bert (Don't Panic !)
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To: Robert357; Carry_Okie
Arnold will solve this as soon as he gets back from playing LAWRENCE of ARABIA.

The radial extreme enviros just ran Calpine out of Eureka because they wanted to study the feasibility of a LNG Facility with a generating plant on Humboldt Bay. I'm sure Booby Kennedy is pleased...
16 posted on 05/04/2004 4:41:13 PM PDT by tubebender (My wild oats have turned to shredded wheat...)
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To: tubebender
The city of Vallejo has recently rejected a LNG facility at Mare Island. Mare Island used to be a submarine base, and the city is looking for uses for the land, but they didn't want LNG facilities on the island.

Seems to be a common theme. "We need the power, but don't build the plant, LNG terminal, or whatever anywhere near where I live."
17 posted on 05/04/2004 4:44:05 PM PDT by .38sw
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To: Robert357
I am constantly amazed that California doesn't have a better forecasting program.

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.

18 posted on 05/04/2004 4:45:12 PM PDT by ArmstedFragg
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To: tubebender
Arnold will solve this as soon as he gets back from playing LAWRENCE of ARABIA.

Arnold will solve this as soon as he gets back from playing RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.

19 posted on 05/04/2004 4:52:06 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Carry_Okie
It's not the board that does the forecasting, it's the staff.

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.

20 posted on 05/04/2004 4:53:37 PM PDT by Robert357
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To: Robert357
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.

Correct, in the reverse order. However, we have enough evidence that nothing has been done that cleaning house from either direction won't make any difference.

21 posted on 05/04/2004 4:57:21 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: ArmstedFragg
As someone who once wrote the algorithms used in the energy management portion of a utility SCADA system, I know it can be hard to forecast energy usage on a day ahead and hour ahead basis. However, one has to try and one has to constantly improve the system.

A good friend of mine actually did a scholarly paper pitting several different algorithms against his chief dispatcher, Roy. Then they did a multi-month test and Roy won, but a couple of the programs were so go that they implemented them, just in case Roy got in a car accident or quite.

I am what is now called a DOUG(Dumb Old Utility Guy), as I still believe in an obligation to serve and the need to have proper reserves at all times. I have testified before FERC on deregulation cases and have advised utilities and industries on tricks associated with deregulation. However, I also feel all of us in the industry need to demand more from our peers.

I am sure that the ISO is under extreme budget pressure, but folks inside need to point out the cost of these outages and pressure the ISO members and management that something needs to be done to do better forecasts.

Thank you for what you are doing and thank you for sharing your insights.

22 posted on 05/04/2004 5:06:00 PM PDT by Robert357
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To: snopercod
...a miscalculation in 1922, when hydrologists overestimated the average flow of the Colorado River and locked the number into a multistate agreement called the Colorado River Compact.

I had read about that and it does not bode well for the future of power generation on the Colorado River. You are right that the multi-year drought in parts of the West could have major power impacts.

23 posted on 05/04/2004 5:28:09 PM PDT by Robert357
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To: Carry_Okie
"Arnold will solve this as soon as he gets back from playing RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT"

Somebody (you and/or Arnold) should read the constitution. He can never be president.

--Boris

24 posted on 05/04/2004 6:53:35 PM PDT by boris (The deadliest weapon of mass destruction in history is a Leftist with a word processor)
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To: boris
Somebody (you and/or Arnold) should read the constitution. He can never be president.

Somebody (that means you) should note that Orin Hatch and others have already proposed an Amendment doing away with the Constitutional requirement that a President of the United States be a native born citizen.

Really, it's just a coincidence.

25 posted on 05/04/2004 8:35:38 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Carry_Okie
"Somebody (that means you) should note that Orin Hatch and others have already proposed an Amendment doing away with the Constitutional requirement that a President of the United States be a native born citizen.

Really, it's just a coincidence."

Let's bet on whether this is ratified during Arnold's lifetime. I'll open. $100 says no ratification. This is a purely public offer, and I am completely serious.

--Boris

26 posted on 05/05/2004 8:14:21 AM PDT by boris (The deadliest weapon of mass destruction in history is a Leftist with a word processor)
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To: boris
Let's bet on whether this is ratified during Arnold's lifetime. I'll open. $100 says no ratification. This is a purely public offer, and I am completely serious.

I wouldn't take it, but it has NOTHING to do with whether my assertion that Arnold was running was misinformed either politically or constitutionally, as you asserted.

Got it?

27 posted on 05/05/2004 8:22:52 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column)
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