The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) called rolling blackouts throughout California on 14 and 15 August, 2020 and threatened blackouts over Labor Day weekend, alleging a lack of sufficient electricity to serve Californians during those heat waves.
CAISO’s recent preliminary root cause analysis, published on 6 October, raises myriad questions about the operation of CAISO’s markets in contributing to the blackouts.
Additionally, the root cause analysis raises troubling questions about CAISO’s operation of California’s transmission grid.
The recording and slides from the 10/9/2020 webinar are now online. Presentation slides are available in PDF format.
- Why did CAISO forsake its own demand forecasts for 14 and 15 August, instead following its day-ahead market results to schedule electricity on California’s grid?
- How did the problems in CAISO’s convergence bidding market play into the August and September issues, and have these problems been addressed?
- Why did CAISO allow planned plant outages during the hottest summer months?
- Why did CAISO fail to require plants that were down with planned outages to supply substitute power to cover the outages?
- What exports did CAISO allow during the historic California heat waves?
- What the data show actually happened on the August days when CAISO called rolling blackouts throughout California.
- An analysis of CAISO’s root cause report.
- Unanswered questions about CAISO’s operation of California’s electricity grid during the blackouts and when faced with historic climate events.
- Reforms that California should consider to ensure that CAISO complies with its statutory requirements to protect California ratepayers, public health, and the environment — and the proposals that won’t fix the real problems.