Western Reliability Coordinator Transition Update

Shaun Rohret, NERC Reliability Specialist, NERC Services

The End of 2019 has brought some big changes to Reliability Coordination in the Western Interconnection. Per the July 18, 2018 notification, Peak Reliability, the Reliability Coordinator (RC) for most of the Western Interconnection, announced that it would ceased operations at the end of 2019. Feedback from Peak’s funding parties “clearly indicated overwhelming support for Peak to wind down the organization.”

On December 3, 2019 Peak Reliability ceased operations as Southwest Power Pool (SPP) became the final new Reliability Coordinator (RC) of record. A recent visit to Peak’s website at http://www.peakrc.com, has the following message: “As of Dec 3rd at 2pm Pacific, any vendor inquiries should be directed to ap@peakrc.com. General inquiries should be directed to inquiries@peakrc.com.”

This transition effectively makes the change from one RC to four for the Western Interconnection. The current certified RCs for the United States are: California ISO (CAISO) and SPP. The Canada-based Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) and BC Hydro will go through effectively the same review as the other RCs, in compliance with their own nation’s standards.

CAISO will provide RC services to most of the Western interconnection, while SPP will provide services, including the front range of the Rockies. GridForce will offer RC services for its footprint, which covers multiple NERC sub-regions.

According to WECC, this is a major reliability milestone in the Western Interconnection. The transition to multiple RCs represents a significant accomplishment for all new RCs, their customers, Peak Reliability, and the overall reliability and security of the bulk power system in the Western Interconnection.