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WECC Daily Report-Cal ISO Bad Reliability (Oops I did it again!)
WECC Daily Report of System Status for 12/16/02 ^ | December 16, 2002 | WECC Staff

Posted on 12/16/2002 4:33:48 PM PST by Robert357

Other Comments:
On Friday 12/13/02 the CISO was deficient in spinning reserves to a magnitude of 250 MW less than required from 1634 to 1701.

On Saturday 12/14/02 PG&E reported an estimated 150,000 customers without power due to a winter storm with approximately 20,000 customers related to Transmission outages and 130,000 customers related to Distribution outages. At 1705 PG&E revised this report to 241,212 customers out of power. This morning at 0730 PST PG&E reported 331,000 customers out of power.

At 0228 PST this morning AVA reported the North Lewiston-Walla Walla 230-kV line relayed to lockout. At 0315 PST IPCO reported the MidPoint-Summerlake 500-kV Line relayed to lockout. The Malin-Round Mountain #1 500-kV line relayed at Malin only at the same time. The Malin terminal was closed at 0328. At 0322 PST IPCO reported the Hells Canyon-Brownlee 230-kV Line relayed to lockout.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: blackouts; caliso; calpowercrisis; ferc; government; pge
The California ISO has very limited ability to schedule power sufficient to control the amount of reserves it carries. About every couple of weeks it violates national spinning reserve requirements. This means that for these periods of time, the Cal ISO is leaning on interconnected electric systems and increasing the potential for blackouts. There are clear procedures that require a load control area that is deficient in reserves to turn off interruptible load and if sufficient reserves as a function of load are not maintained to shed additional load (aka blackouts). This is the lowest load season for the California ISO, if they cannot keep things in check, then heaven help California during the coming summer.

I certainly hope that FERC dramatically changes the leadership and the culture of this organization. The Cal ISO appears to have little concern regarding reliability based on repetitive actions or failures on its part.

As a second aside, I wonder how much of the PG&E outages were due to deferred tree trimming and deferred maintenance that made a the results of a bad storm even worse. I expect this from an organization in Bankruptcy, but it is hard on the customers.

My final point is that there are times of the year when a loss of imported power from the PNW at the Malin Substation to Round Mountain could cause major blackouts in California. Malin-Round Mountain is the AC intertie on the California Oregon Boarder. If this ever happens at one of those times that California does not have enough spinning reserves very large parts of the state could go black. Californians may not know it but they are on the ragged edge of disaster.

1 posted on 12/16/2002 4:33:48 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357; snopercod; Ernest_at_the_Beach; lewislynn
I thought I would share with some folks how the California ISO preformed over the weekend (not well.)

I hope that the federal court case where FERC is trying to change the leadership of the California ISO will conform them to a more typical ISO structure soon. The Gov. Davis handpicked folks leading the California ISO are not doing a good job.

If the ISO doesn't change soon, California could be in for some very dark times (pun intended).

2 posted on 12/16/2002 4:38:02 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357
Californians are in for a rude awakening.
3 posted on 12/16/2002 7:29:41 PM PST by randita
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To: Robert357; *calpowercrisis; randita; SierraWasp; Carry_Okie; okie01; socal_parrot; snopercod; ...
Thanks for the observations !

Calpowercrisis:

To find all articles tagged or indexed using Calpowercrisis, click below:
  click here >>> Calpowercrisis <<< click here  
(To view all FR Bump Lists, click here)



4 posted on 12/16/2002 7:33:42 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Robert357; snopercod; Carry_Okie; Ernest_at_the_Beach; budwiesest; farmfriend; steelie; ...
"Californians may not know it but they are on the ragged edge of disaster."

So true!!!

I was awakened at 4:AM today with Mrs. Wasp stumblin round in the dark, yellin "Waspman!" "Git yer differential outa that danged bed and crank up that generator... NOW!" "Hurry up, I cain't see a danged thing, you slacker... giddy up!"

So I did. First I had to find the gas can (in the dark as the rechargeable D cells hadn't kept their charge) and then unscrew the fuel shut-off. Then I started chokin an crankin. As soon as she started, I was off to the breaker box to flip off the main and all the little breakers except the dryer breaker. Then into the garage to move the dryer out to unplug it and plug my romex cable to the generator in, instead. Finally, I plugged the romex into the generator's 220 and headed back to the breaker box to turn on the well pump so I could flush my pots cause by now... I HAD TO GO!!! BAD!!!

So anyway, now you are implying that these bastard bureaucrats are playin fast and loose with their responsibilities for proper reserves. If you'd have told me that this morning, before the crack of dawn, as I was grunting to shove that danged dryer almost giving myself a pant load... I'da probably gone postal!!!

Anaways... We had that noisy thing on from 5:Am till about 1:45 pm today and I was pretty pist the whole time cause it took about the same amount of time to dry out and warm up. The radio said everything south of I-80 on the western slope was out and now it may not have been storm related after all??? Are you tryin ta give the Waspman a stroke???

5 posted on 12/16/2002 8:54:49 PM PST by SierraWasp
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To: Robert357
As a second aside, I wonder how much of the PG&E outages were due to deferred tree trimming and deferred maintenance that made a the results of a bad storm even worse.

I have seen no evidence of this. In fact, things have improved over the last few years. If anything, stupid environmental rules remain the biggest problem governing tree trimming.

About that I could go on at length.

6 posted on 12/16/2002 9:16:43 PM PST by Carry_Okie
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To: Carry_Okie
I have seen no evidence of this. In fact, things have improved over the last few years.

I am not in PG&E's Service Territory, so you could be correct. PG&E was in bankruptcy. If it was not deferring maintenance, I am amazed. I know several Pacific Northwest utilities that are deferring wood power pole replacements and tree triming that would suffer a really huge problem after a major storm. These utilities have cost problems but are no where near bankruptcy. I was speculationg based, but if I am wrong, I apologize.

I tip my hat to the enlightened management of PG&E for their continued maitenance if they that is what happened.

7 posted on 12/16/2002 11:39:48 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357
The Daily Report has now ageed to the point that it will probabaly be found within the archies of December.

Link to WECC December Archives >

8 posted on 12/16/2002 11:42:53 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357
...heaven help California during the coming summer.

That must be why Il Duce Davis refuses to relinquish his emergency powers, wouldn't you guess? He been told what the situation is.

9 posted on 12/17/2002 2:14:38 AM PST by snopercod
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To: SierraWasp
I would perform some routine maintenance on that generator, cause' you're gonna' be needin' it a lot this summer.

Be sure to use Stabil in your gasoline.

10 posted on 12/17/2002 2:18:28 AM PST by snopercod
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To: snopercod
Stabil in your gasoline.

good stuff, I use it in my boat, chain saw and a lot of stuff that isn't used all the time.

11 posted on 12/17/2002 6:41:30 AM PST by Robert357
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To: snopercod; Robert357
How is that stuff gonna react to the change from M.T.B.E., the super water poisoner, to that corny alchohol as oxygenates?

I bought that generator way before Y2K and let it sit for a few years and sure nuff, the float bowl turned to jelly. The repair guy put the main needle valve back in upside down so it wouldn't run good at all and I didn't discover it till well after Y2K!!!

Here's one guy that sure was happy Y2K never amounted to anything!!!

12 posted on 12/17/2002 6:58:04 AM PST by SierraWasp
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To: Robert357
We got pole maintenance two years ago with a number of replacements, new guys, and a broadband cable (that hasn't been activated for a year). The trimming got more aggressive when the tree services received credit for remove-and-treat. As a result they have to send forestry consultants to each property to request the removal from the property owner. In this political climate that much progress is amazing.

The biggest problem is that the specification for line clearance is ten feet. Even if the tree is dead and leaning 45° over the top of the lines (they're numerous), as long as it's ten feet away, the owner can prevent the utility from touching it. Worse, even if the owner wants it removed, if the forester doesn't mark it they still won't take it.

I work with the foresters (usually extremely attractive young women) to teach them about how this can be done in such a way that is both cheaper and better for the forest in the long run. I leaned on PG&E engineering to get them off their fat asses to remove an abandoned leg. I paid to have some split-top douglas firs removed because even though they were up to fifty feet from the wires, the split sections were long enough that when (not if) they broke they could fall on the lines (this is one of the few cases where I didn't do my own tree climbing... there are limits). I am removing all trees below the lines or training them to grow laterally in a couple of celebrated cases (nice mature tree, prominent location) as long as they have at least 20' of clearance. I grow fire retardant bushes (toyon) in those rights of way and round adjacent trees under the wires.

OTOH I have neighbors who own a grove of garbage eucalyptus trees that is leaning over the tops of the wires. Eucalyptus branches are very heavy and break VERY easily. It's a fire bomb with a short fuse. That grove is just below an abandoned Christmas tree farm with a crummy old cabin at the top housing a single mom and her young child. PG&E won't touch it.

IMHO, the property owner should be accountable to pay for tree maintenance in an existing right of way or have the utility fund it with a lein on the property. Such conditions as those above are unacceptible.

13 posted on 12/17/2002 7:30:30 AM PST by Carry_Okie
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To: Robert357
So you're saying that Davis is avoiding legal blackouts by breaking federal regs?

I also understand you to say that when Davis violates the regs and operates without adequate spinning reserves he risks a cascade effect in the whole northwest?

Is that about it?

14 posted on 12/17/2002 2:48:50 PM PST by Amerigomag
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To: Carry_Okie
This is a perfect example of how bureaucracies function and why they should not be in charge of technical enterprises.

Everyone involved (including the bureaucrats) knows that the overhanging trees will eventually fall and snap the lines. But there is no money in the budget for a proactive approach. On top of that, it's too controversial. It's impossible to convince the PUC that such a program would save money in the long run.

But there is always money to repair the lines and restore service "in an emergency" once the lines are down. Usually, this happens during a windstorm in the middle of the night, and the linemen get double and maybe triple time for coming out.

But you know all this...

15 posted on 12/17/2002 3:02:31 PM PST by snopercod
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To: Amerigomag
So you're saying that Davis is avoiding legal blackouts by breaking federal regs?

No, not exactly. The National Electric Reliability Council (NERC) was created by federal legislation, but is basically a voluntary association of electric utilties that establish various reliability criteria. They established these under the threat of federal legislation establishing federal reliability criteria. NERC is divided into regions, one of which use to be WSCC, which recently became WECC. WECC has specific reliability criteria that all utilities within the Reliability region are required to use. Cal ISO is suppose to follow those criteria.

FERC in its RTO process is proposing to require of Independent transmission System Operators that they meet certain FERC mandated reliability criteria. Currently the proposed FERC transmission reliability criteria aren't in place yet. I hope that the Cal ISO is melded into a larger reliability group that has a different management structure and culture more in tune to providing reliable electric power.

So to provide a short answer to your question, the Cal ISO has not violated any federal regulations at the momement regarding reliability, but it has violated its own ISO proceedures (adopted to conform to WECC reliability criteria) or at the least, the Cal ISO bent its own reliability criteria significantly to avoid blacking out interruptible customers and others. I hope this explains this.

16 posted on 12/17/2002 6:33:53 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357
Can't we just NERC 'em and FERC 'em until they are a total WRECC?
17 posted on 12/17/2002 7:07:22 PM PST by SierraWasp
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To: Robert357
Yes it does and thanks.

I was about to put another black mark by Davis' name but if he's only taking obviously politically motivated risks with eletrical energy consumers in the Pacific Northwest he probably deserves a pass.

18 posted on 12/17/2002 7:39:06 PM PST by Amerigomag
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To: Amerigomag
I was about to put another black mark by Davis' name

Don't worry, Davis is working overtime to put black marks by his own name. He doesn't need help from anyone.

What is significant about WECC daily reports is that so often there are no serious problems, which is as it should be. However, the California ISO has been publicized as a source of reliability problems at least a couple times each month.

Remember the WECC report is what all the scheduling utlities in the Western U.S. & Canada read to see who things are going. California's power system is becoming widely known within the electric utility industry as disfunctional and un-trustworthy. That is significant.

19 posted on 12/17/2002 9:40:00 PM PST by Robert357
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To: SierraWasp
Yes, there are way too many alphabet soup names, but typing all the words takes way too long.
20 posted on 12/17/2002 9:42:13 PM PST by Robert357
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To: Robert357
Ben Franklin list please; good points - bad points.

California is isolated from the western power interchanges because of habitual misbehavior.

21 posted on 12/17/2002 10:01:52 PM PST by Amerigomag
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