Skip to comments.WECC Daily Report (Oops I did it again, Cal ISO almost blacks out CA)
Posted on 02/21/2003 11:48:18 AM PST by Robert357
.....Other Comments: At 0816 MST today, Sierra Pacific Resources commenced evacuating their Control Center in Reno, Nevada due to a bomb threat. They are initiating contingency plans to operate their Backup Control Center out of Las Vegas, Nevada Power Control Center.
Thursdays Notable Events: At 1312 PST the CMRC issued a Reserve Deficiency Directive to the CAISO. At 1249 PST the Spinning Reserve failed to meet the requirement. The maximum deficiency was 180 MW at 1305, returning to normal at 1313. Total time below normal was 24 minutes.
At 1615 PST the RDRC reported their SCADA system was down. Returned to operational at 2200. The telephone system was unavailable from 1940-2003. CMRC and PNSC both advised.
The CMRC reported the following outages for today:
From 0000-2400 PST the COI is limited to 4,750 MW north to south and 3,675 MW south to north due to the Northern California Hydro limits.
From 0000-2400 the PDCI is limited to 2,165 MW north to south and 1,979 MW south to north due to Sylmar Valve Groups #3 and #6, Celilo Valve Groups #3 and #6 and Import contingency limits.
From 0000-2400, Path 15 is limited to 3,000 MW south to north and 1,850 MW north to south due to area resource. ETR 3/3/03.
From 0000-2400 Path 26 is limited to 2,500 MW north to south due to local area resource limitations. ETR 3/3/03
(Excerpt) Read more at wecc.biz ...
Also, if you are not viewing this on Friday, February 21, 2003, and want to read the source document you need to go to the WECC Daily Report Archives and look up the Feb 21, 2003 report.
To maintain reliability and avoid major blackouts, a certain quantity of extra power is required to be available for sudden changes in load. This reliability requirement is a set of reserve requirements. Spinning Reserves are the most important element. Interruptible load under utility control can be used as a form of Spinning Reserves for some reliability areas. The Cal ISO has a long history of not providing enough reserves and not interrupting any load when it should. As such they are not following the letter of national reliability standards and leaning on neighboring electrical systems to keep the lights on in California. This is transferring costs to neighboring states and risking a west coast blackout.
One just has to wonder how tenuous California's electric system is if the Cal ISO can not maintain control of its reserves during the low load or off-peak season. If they are this careless now, what can one expect during the summer high load season? I expect that one of these days there is going to be a real major and unexpected blackout in California. It is likely to occur during one of these mismanagement events by the Cal ISO, if a major power plant fails suddenly or if a major transmission line trips out. This is a predictable disaster waiting to happen.
It is my hope that FERC forces structural changes in the California ISO so that it lives up to its reliability requirements.
If you have any doubts about how carelessly the Cal ISO has been operating check out the following link Click on this past Free-Republic Posting and look closely at the links to past Cal ISO mistakes starting at post 18
Thanks for the reminder.
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California: Northwest drought may boost California power costs ^
Things are well below average but not nearly as bad as during the power crisis. The high oil and gas prices plus a mild hydro conditions, will mean power costs will be high, but not nearly the levels of the Cal Power crisis. That doesn't mean that the Cal ISO won't be responsible for causing blackouts this comming summer.
I know you well enough to detect sarcasm, but you are also right in a way.
When I use to do system planning for a medium sized utility, one of the reliability criteria was loss of load for one hour in 20 years. That was over a 99.99 percent reliability criteria. We don't plan now for that same level of reliability, but what we plan for is alot more than the Cal ISO is delivering.
Having insufficient spinning reserves for 20 minutes to an hour every other month, results in drastically reduced reliability. As you point out, nothing bad happened. It just means that if the Cal ISO doesn't clean up its act, at some point, something really bad (a major West Coast blackout) is much more likely to happen. When that something really bad happens, people will demand that heads role and polticians will look for scapegoats to blame.