Power Generation CAISO Primer

For more information: John Egan, 720-949-4906


Every five minutes the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) forecasts electrical demand, accounts for available energy and dispatches the least expensive power plant to meet consumer demand. The power generation CAISO is a critical piece of ensuring the reliability of the power grid and ensuring the lights stay on.

As a power generator it is important that you understand what CAISO does so you can most effectively and efficiently work with the ISO. Understanding the power generation CAISO ensures that you can power past the competition in the California marketplace.

The Role of the Power Generation CAISOshutterstock_103924373

The power generation CAISO is responsible for managing the flow of electricity across the high-voltage, long-distance power lines in California and part of Nevada. There are over 30 million customers in their service area and the CAISO is the only independent grid operator in the western United States. The CAISO grants equal access to its member utilities, private power plants and other power generators to ensure consumers get the lowest possible price.

In addition CAISO manages and coordinates supply and demand on the grid. Using big data—both historical and real-time, CAISO forecasts needs and planned outages. This information is supplied to entities operating within the ISO’s service area, so they may competitively price, plan and ensure their reliability.

Data and CAISO

While CAISO monitors and forecasts demand and pricing, your power generator is responsible for supplying data to CAISO.  Your entity is also responsible for reporting planned outages due to scheduled maintenance, construction or other upgrades. In the event of unplanned outages, your entity must also report when the outages will end, so the CAISO can dispatch an alternate energy source as soon as possible.

And, in turn, CAISO supplies market and demand forecasts to power generators. Power generators can use this data to set pricing, monitor reserves and make marketplace trading decisions.

V-Performance 5.0

V-Performance 5.0 is your go-to tool for working CAISO. For your reporting and outage planning needs, V-Performance automates event capture, stores and analyzes data and comes preloaded with standard ISO reporting requirements. It makes collaboration in your facility easy with custom dashboard reporting and web based access, so your data and reporting faculties are available all the time.

Want to learn more? Call Versify Solutions, the developers of V-Performance 5.0, for a free consultation and to answer all your questions about the power generation CAISO.