Merced muni considers joining ISO

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The California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the community-owned Merced Irrigation District about becoming a member of the ISO. Merced is the latest in a list of utilities considering the benefits of ISO membership.

The municipal utility owns about 100 megawatts of installed generating capacity, including the New Exchequer and McSwain hydroelectric facilities, currently connected to the ISO grid.

Merced contacted the ISO about the benefits of becoming a participating transmission owner, utility distribution company, load serving entity, and generator owner. Later, Merced submitted a transmission interconnection request to Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for a 230 kilovolt interconnection between Merced's electric system and the PG&E owned Wilson substation, already part of the ISO-controlled grid.

If approved by the ISO Board of Governors in March, the ISO and Merced can negotiate a transition agreement. The agreement could be finalized by ISO as early as spring 2013 and then filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to facilitate the transition process. If completed, Merced could become a participating generator owner by summer of 2014 and a participating ISO transmission owner as early as July 2015.

For more:
- see the memorandum of understanding

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