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CAISO Part 6a – Expansion, Update

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John Benson's picture
Senior Consultant Microgrid Labs

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Microgrid Labs, Inc. Advisor: 2014 to Present Developed product plans, conceptual and preliminary designs for projects, performed industry surveys and developed...

  • Member since 2013
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  • May 9, 2019

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As the title suggests, this is an update to the last part of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) series that I posted last summer into fall. This describes the further expansion of CAISO out of California.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on May 9, 2019

"The EIM continues to expand, and increase benefits to its members...there have been $650 Million in benefits."

Well - financial benefits, anyway.

John, I have yet to see how California will be able to verify electricity coming from PacifiCorp, with 71% of its electricity generated by burning coal, is being generated by their windfarm (5% of PacifiCorp electricity). Warren Buffett, CEO of PacifiCorp's holding company, is not a big believer in using wind for anything but cover:

"...we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms...that’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit."

Sierra Club shares my concern.

Caiso and PacifiCorp Market Integration Plan May Bring Coal to California

"PacifiCorp has spent at least $2 billion in just the last few years to prolong the lives of coal plants in its fleet. PacifiCorp’s IRP identified another 13 units that could face future possible compliance costs of $1.3 billion or more. PacifiCorp has also actively tried to shield its coal plants from reasonable regulation. For example, PacifiCorp publicly attacked EPA’s consideration of a rule to protect Wyoming from haze pollution attributable to coal plants because the company is “committed to ...ensuring a viable future for coal”."

John Benson's picture
John Benson on May 9, 2019

Hi Bob:

On the grid, all transactions are financial: The grid is used to transmit power from sellers to buyers, and if the seller used a renewable source to generate the power at the same time that the buyer is using it, it issumed that the buyer is using renewable power. This is the same concept used in natural gas pipelines, and for that matter railroads. In the latter case the fact that the same rails are carrying coal, does not make hydrogen carried by a railroad any less clean.


Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 9, 2019

With many topics in energy & utilities, it often seems that as California goes so too will the rest of the country (but much later, as they take the time to catch up). How do you think the rest of the country will react to this CAISO expansion-- is it the start of a wider trend across the country?

John Benson's picture
Thank John for the Post!
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