CAISO President: California Power Grid teetering close to the edge of collapse

CA System Operators Fighting with Politicians to Keep Grid From Collapse

I sent an email to a relative earlier today predicting that politicians in California would start leaning on system operators to reduce their safety margin or contingency power in order to avoid rolling blackouts.

I had no idea they were teetering this close to the edge already.

In response to rolling blackouts over the weekend, California ISO President Steve Berber warned that California must maintain its current electricity reserves or risk ‘collapse of the entire system of California and perhaps the entire West.’

Berber:

“You are trading the loss of 3000 megawatts for the collapse of the entire system of California and perhaps the entire West. […] When you’re at the very edge and you have a contingency and you have no operating reserves, you risk entire system collapse.”

TRANSCRIPT: ISO Board of Governors Meeting Monday, August 17, 2020

CAISO CEO Steve Berber:

“For those of you who think we can just use our reserves, you are wrong. You are trading the loss of 3000 megawatts for the collapse of the entire system of California and perhaps the entire West. […]

John, you mentioned that there are standards we follow that are NERC [North American Electric Reliability Corporation] standards. These standards are in place for a very good reason. They’re there to ensure there’s no system collapse. When you’re at the very edge and you have a contingency and you have no operating reserves, you risk entire system collapse. Is that not fair?”

CAISO Director, Real Time Operations John Phipps: “That’s correct, Steve. In fact that afternoon or evening there when we had the negative 1200 megawatt AC, if we would have deployed our reserves to recover our AC, but then had a large generator – Diablo Canyon – or some other similar unit trip which could not have recovered, we would have had AC frequency drop down dramatically and put the rest of the [Western] Interconnection in jeopardy.”

HT/ The Harry READ ME file.

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August 18, 2020 at 08:17AM

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