As part of its commitment to optimize market outcomes and improve performance, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) has established a new corporate division. The Market Quality and Renewable Integration Division consolidates market performance review functions previously split across the organization, sharpens the focus on in-depth price trend analysis and leads our planning studies for system needs as large amounts of renewables are seamlessly integrated into the ISO grid.
Foundational to the credibility of the ISO market is ensuring open, transparent and confident market outcomes. Market participants count on the market effectively dispatching the system every five minutes aligned with efficient companion prices. The ISO is committed to ensuring that result every time the market runs and believes the new division will bring improvements. Accordingly, this new division is charged with ensuring exceptional dispatches are minimized, prices corrections are rare and the market is operating as intended.
A well-performing market is also absolutely key to successful integration of renewable power. The ISO estimates the grid will need 3,000-4,000 megawatts of fast and flexible standby power to compensate for less controllable supply and demand of electricity. The new division is responsible for generation fleet studies that test whether there is adequate "flexible capacity" installed to meet future electricity needs. Both the supply and demand for electricity is expected to fluctuate more in real time as variable supply such as wind and solar power grows to meet the 33% renewable power mix goal and distributed generation such as rooftop solar increases.
"Internal market quality monitoring is critically important as we enter this historic industry transformation," said ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich. "The integrity of our market is key to meeting the dynamics of a greener grid. Letting economic forces enhance environmental goals will lower costs and create market signals that incent innovation such as storage technology and consumer-enabled demand response. In return, growth in these resource options gives us added flexibility when managing the variable output from renewable power, essentially creating a portfolio effect that strengthens grid reliability."
Along with performing and reporting comprehensive market analysis, the team of engineers and specialists tap advanced wind and solar supply forecasting technology as well as emerging customer load forecasting tools. Veteran ISO market policy expert Mark Rothleder will lead the new division.
"Mark has a demonstrated record of credibility and leadership at the ISO," said Berberich. "He was instrumental in the successful launch of our new market in 2009 and has led our efforts to define system needs as we integrate the largest portfolio of renewable power in the country."
Formerly Executive Director, Market Analysis and Development, Rothleder was named Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration, effective this week.
"This is an exciting although challenging era in the electricity industry," said Rothleder. "With our new analytical and forecasting tools along with a top-notch team of experts, we gain an edge as we maintain a high level of reliability in less carbon world all the while maximizing the benefits of a competitive market."
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The California ISO operates the state's wholesale transmission grid, providing open and non-discriminatory access supported by a competitive energy market and comprehensive planning efforts. Partnering with about a hundred client organizations, 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. The ISO bulk power market allocates space on transmission lines, maintains operating reserves and matches supply with demand.