California PUC reviews peaking power contracts by Southern California Edison

Up for a decision at the May 26 meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission is a resolution that would approve only one of two peaking power contracts worked out by Southern California Edison.

Southern California Edison has requested approval of two bilateral contracts to enhance local area reliability. The resolution recommends:

  • approval of Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) Resource Adequacy (RA) contract with NRG Energy through GenOn Energy Management LLC for the 54-MW Ellwood Peaker located in Goleta, California, for the August 2016-May 2018 period; and
  • deny SCE’s RA contract with GenOn for the 130-MW Mandalay 3 Peaker located in Oxnard, California, for the August 2016-May 2020 period.

SCE is seeking a finding that these RA contracts and SCE’s entry into these contracts are reasonable and prudent for all purposes, including, but not limited to, recovery in rates of payments made pursuant to these contracts, subject only to further review with respect to the reasonableness of SCE’s administration of these contracts.

The Ellwood Peaker is needed to cure a 2016 deficiency identified by the California Independent System Operator for 42 MW in the Santa Clara sub-area, which may persist through 2018. In addition, the Ellwood Peaker serves local load in Santa Barbara County and would help meet local reliability needs in the event of an outage on the Goleta-Santa Clara 230 kV transmission lines. With the Ellwood contract in place, there is no residual need for the Mandalay 3 Peaker to meet SCE’s local area or sub-area needs in 2016 or 2017, the resolution said.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.