Versify Supports Industry Transition to New Reliability Coordinator Services in the West

Versify CAISO SPP Peak RC Reliability CoordinatorWith the announcement of Peak RC’s wind down, each Peak RC customer must now put plans in place to transition to a new Reliability Coordinator.  As of this writing, most companies have made their selection between CAISO and SPP.  Versify has several customers affected by this transition and this paper highlights some of the major considerations for companies going through this process.

What areas must Balancing Authorities and Transmission Operators consider during the transition?

One of the primary interactions between RCs and their customers is outage coordination.  CAISO and SPP have different business processes and data requirements than Peak.  Each RC defines the data requirements, submission timing and types/causes differently and these attributes may have a significant impact on customer business processes and tools.  Some of these attributes include:

  • Nature of Work/Cause Codes: represent the cause of the outage or derate including plant maintenance, ambient derates, fuel limitations, testing and communication issues
  • Outage/Derate Types: Outages may be planned well in advance or forced outages may be used for emergency maintenance. Outages are assigned as either Forced or Planned based on the time the request is made relative to the outage start time.  The distinction between outage types has important implications for reliability metrics and regulatory reporting.
  • Approval Types: CAISO and SPP have different outage approval processes and timelines.  It is important to understand these processes and timelines, so the true state of the outage is understood by all stakeholders.

Let’s consider some specific examples below.

Transition to CAISO

There are several unique aspects of managing outages in CAISO that are not required by other RCs that customers must consider when transitioning to CAISO.  Some of these include:

  • Hourly Availability Profiles: allows Available MW changes over time within a single ticket
  • Treatment of overlapping derates: if overlapping derates exist generators are required to submit the minimum available MWs for the overlapping period
  • Vacated Periods: when the time of an outage is moved, generators must also submit a revised availability for the original timeframe
  • Change Requests: generators may withdraw a change request before it is accepted by CAISO
  • Treatment of Multi Stage Generators: availability for all configurations within a MSG must be submitted in a single ticket
  • Aggregates: CAISO accepts outage tickets for the rollup of smaller generators as aggregates
  • Ability to submit adjustments to ramp rates/PMIN/AGC MIN/Max within a single ticket

Transition to SPP

While the outage managements systems deployed by Peak RC and SPP are provided by the same software vendor, there are important differences in data and processes:

  • Outage Type (Priority) between SPP and Peak differ materially. SPP types include: Planned, Discretionary, Opportunity, Operational, Urgent, Emergency and Forced
  • SPP requires the inclusion of Outage Cause with ticket submission. Valid SPP causes must be selected from a list of 15 options


How should BAs and TOPs create a plan for success to transition to a new Reliability Coordinator?

Planning is a key component to success in any transition that impacts large companies and complex process.  Here are few steps to consider in your plan.

Make sure all stakeholders understand the new requirements for the RC selected.  Review business practice manuals and attend training for the selected RC and talk to other customers currently working with the RC.  Review technical documentation and user guides for the new systems that staff will interact.

Conduct a gap analysis to compare the new processes to the old and look for significant changes that will need to be made.  Be sure to consider any data that is not being captured today but will be required after the transition

Assess and update procedures and tools.  Do the current processes rely on e-mails, phone calls and paper-based processes?  What are the high-risk areas in the current processes?  Document how the changes will fit into your organization and impact your customers and stakeholders.  Ensure that the procedures comply with the expectation of your new RC.  Explore technology upgrades that will help streamline the transition, improve automation and reduce risk

Create a Go-Live Plan.  Make sure that all stakeholders and customers understand the new processes and tools as well as the transition plan and timing.  Conduct parallel operations to ensure a smooth transition.  Plan for managing outages that may cross the cutover to the new RC.  Make sure that all scenarios (planned, forced, testing) are explored during the parallel operations.


Versify Solutions, Inc. ( is a pioneer and leading provider of advanced enterprise situational awareness solutions for the electric power industry.  Versify is currently supporting Outage Management Customers in Peak RC, SPP and CAISO.  Versify’s OMS provides a solid, proven solution for BAs and TOPs transitioning from Peak RC to CAISO or SPP.  New customers may deploy Versify’s OMS prior to the transition and utilize Versify’s OMS for parallel operations and a seamless transition to the new RCs.