On September 13, 2012, FERC’s Office of Enforcement (“Enforcement”) issued a Notice of Alleged Violations against the California Independent System Operator Corporation (“CAISO”), suggesting that CAISO violated two mandatory Reliability Standards in connection with a power outage in the San Diego area in 2010.  FERC will next determine if it agrees with Enforcement’s preliminary determinations, open a formal investigation, or accept a settlement between the parties.  

The September 13th notice alleges that CAISO violated two reliability standards: (1) PER-002-0 (Operating Personnel Training), Requirements R1 and R3; and (2) TOP-002-2a (Normal Operations Planning) Requirements R1 and R6.  Enforcement alleges that the violations led to CAISO “erroneously and unnecessarily issuing directives to shed firm Load” in the San Diego area on the evening of March 31- April 1, 2010.

CAISO previously acknowledged its part in the 2010 event, which led to a 45 minute power outage in San Diego.  On April 6, 2010, CAISO issued a news release stating that it “acted in good faith” but that it applied “operating requirements incorrectly.”  In an effort to prevent similar outages in the future, CAISO stated that it is currently: (1) improving operating systems and control room tools; (2) providing better situational awareness to operators; (3) adding to training regimes for all control room crews; and (4) reviewing operating procedures to determine how they can be improved.

A copy of the September 13th notice is available here.