California Grid Operator Begins Reliability Coordinator Services for 17 Entities Across the West

The California Independent System Operator Corporation launched RC West on July 1, becoming the official reliability coordinator with grid oversight responsibility for 16 balancing authorities and transmission operators in California and one in northern Mexico.

The launch marks the first operational phase, with RC West taking over responsibility from Peak Reliability. The grid operator expects RC West to offer its services to 23 additional entities after further review by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, expanding reliability oversight for 87 percent of the U.S. electricity load in the Western Interconnection.

NERC certified the reliability coordinated service in June. Since May 1, RC West has been shadowing Peak Reliability’s operations, “tracking and mirroring” the coordination by taking part in communications, system data verification, operational analysis, and monitoring of system conditions with situational awareness tools.

In January 2018, the ISO announced it will become its own reliability coordinator and offer these services to other balancing authorities in the Western U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The move came in response to Peak’s partnership with PJM Interconnection LLC to expand services to the west. Months later, Peak said it will discontinue reliability coordination services at the end of 2019.

The California ISO has completed 39 service agreements with balancing authorities and transmission operators across the west to receive reliability coordinator services from RC West.