A Framework for Considering Multiple Reliability Coordinators in the Western Interconnection | GridSME Report | June 2017

The objective of this report is to introduce a framework for objectively reviewing and assessing the reliability and cost implications of a transition from a single Interconnection-wide Reliability Coordinator (RC) against the possibility of providing RC services in the Western Interconnection with multiple RCs with smaller RC footprints. The report identifies the tools and technologies currently used by Peak Reliability (“Peak”) to provide RC services in the Western Interconnection. The report also provides rough estimates of the cost of a new RC providing similar RC services.  In the interests of reliability, policy makers should encourage all interested stakeholders to work with any organization seeking to provide RC services to ensure reliability in the Western Interconnection is maintained at least at the same level and focus as exists today.

This review is focused on the following issues:

  1. The tools and services currently provided by Peak Reliability including a brief exploration of the history of Peak.
  2. The physical and operational differences between the Eastern Interconnection and the Western Interconnection and the associated reliability impacts
  3. A high-level estimate of costs anticipated for establishing a new RC in the Interconnection.

This framework attempts to identify the tools and capabilities an additional provider of RC services would need to have to provide comparable reliability in the Western Interconnection. The report identifies those tools and technologies that must be provided to deliver minimum reliability per the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Reliability Standards, and additionally, it identifies those tools developed over time in the Western Interconnection to improve reliability above and beyond the minimum standards. If another entity can demonstrate it can provide comparable reliability in the West at a lower cost to its specific customers, then it should be considered a viable RC service provider.