On June 3, 2019, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) announced via news release that its Reliability Coordinator unit, RC West, obtained its certification from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). The CAISO has been conducting shadow operations for RC West since May 1. As of July 1, CAISO’s RC West is the Reliability Coordinator for 16 Balancing Authorities (BAs) and Transmission Operators (TOs) in California and part of Mexico.
A Reliability Coordinator has the “highest level of authority and responsibility for the reliable operation of power grids” and has “wide visibility of bulk electric systems”. Per the CAISO press release, RC West will be responsible for monitoring interconnected grids, authorizing measures to prevent or mitigate system emergencies in day-ahead or real-time operations, and lead restoration efforts after major incidents.
By November, it is expected that RC West will become the Reliability Coordinator to an additional 24 entities in the Western Interconnection, giving RC West reliability oversight for 87 percent of the interconnection’s U.S. electricity load.