The memorandum of understanding between Imperial Irrigation District and San Diego that had been approved by the district’s Board of Directors in February was brought before the Energy Consumer Advisory Committee on Monday, and General Manager Kevin Kelley reported that the final agreement is still pending as revisions are being made.
The memorandum would commit both the Imperial and San Diego energy utilities to jointly pursue a partial participating transmission ownership arrangement in the area surrounding the Imperial Valley Substation west of El Centro. The agreement, which is not a binding one, would deal with the solar projects being proposed in the area that would connect directly to the substation, thus bypassing the IID system.
A final partial participating transmission ownership arrangement would have to be approved by the California Independent System Operator and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which could take about a year, Kelley said. But there may be some idea as to what will happen sooner.
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Committee members had similar concerns that some district directors expressed two weeks ago about the protection of the balancing authority. Committee members Gil Perez and Mark Larson both asked about the protections in place to keep the balancing authority local and therefore allow the local board to decide on energy rates.
There are safeguards in place that would keep that from happening, Kelley answered. A portion of the new facilities there would be under the CalISO’s control, but it would be spearheaded by IID.
The committee didn’t vote on the issue, but it is set to be discussed today at the IID Board of Directors meeting during closed session. Kelley said he would bring the item back to the ECAC board with updates.
Staff Writer Elizabeth Varin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-337-3441.