FOLSOM, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) and the Merced Irrigation District executed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today as part of the first step in the community-owned utility potentially becoming a member of the ISO. The ISO has posted the MOU on its website and scheduled a stakeholder call on February 28th to answer questions.
Merced is a community-owned utility that provides retail electric service to approximately 8,000 residential and business customers in the Central Valley. The municipal utility owns about 100 megawatts of installed generating capacity including the New Exchequer and McSwain hydroelectric facilities, which are currently connected to the ISO grid.
Merced approached the ISO to inquire about the benefits of becoming a participating transmission owner, utility distribution company, load serving entity, and generator owner. Subsequently, it submitted a transmission interconnection request to Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for a 230 kilovolt interconnection between Merced’s electric system and the PG&E owned Wilson substation east of Merced near Highway 140. Those facilities are already part of the ISO-controlled grid.
The ISO Board of Governors will be asked at their general meeting in March to authorize the ISO to move forward with negotiating a transition agreement. The ISO could finalize an agreement with Merced this spring and then file with FERC to facilitate the transition process. If Merced and ISO were to complete the transition, Merced could become a participating generator owner by summer of 2014 and a participating ISO transmission owner as early as July 1, 2015.
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|The California ISO provides open and non-discriminatory access to one of the largest power grids in the world. The vast network of high-voltage transmission power lines is supported by a competitive energy market and comprehensive grid planning. Partnering with about a hundred clients, the nonprofit public benefit corporation is dedicated to the continual development and reliable operation of a modern grid that operates for the benefit of consumers. Recognizing the importance of the global climate challenge, the ISO is at the forefront of integrating renewable power and advanced technologies that will help meet a sustainable energy future efficiently and cleanly.|