California Independent System Operator


TypeNon profit
Founded1997 (1997)
Area served
Key people
Steve Berberich (President and CEO), Roger Collanton, Stacey Crowley, Neil Millar, Petar Ristanovic, Mark Rothleder, Ryan Seghesio, Eric Schmitt, and Jodi Ziemathis
ProductsElectricity grid management

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) is a non-profit Independent System Operator (ISO) serving California.[1] It oversees the operation of California's bulk electric power system, transmission lines, and electricity market generated and transmitted by its member utilities. The primary stated mission of CAISO is to "operate the grid reliably and efficiently, provide fair and open transmission access, promote environmental stewardship, and facilitate effective markets and promote infrastructure development."[2] The CAISO is one of the largest ISOs in the world, delivering 300 million megawatt-hours of electricity each year and managing about 80% of California's electric flow.


The California Legislature created the CAISO in 1998 as part of the state restructuring of electricity markets. The legislature was responding to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recommendations following the passage of the federal Energy Policy Act of 1992, which removed barriers to competition in the wholesale generation of electricity business. FERC regulates CAISO because interstate transmission lines fall under the jurisdiction of federal commerce laws. [3]


CAISO's leadership consists of executive management and a governing board members appointed by the Governor of California.

The current executive leaders are:[4]

  • President and CEO: Stephen Berberich [5]
  • Vice Presidents: Roger Collanton,[6] Stacey Crowley,[7] Neil Millar, Petar Ristanovic, Mark Rothleder, Ryan Seghesio, Eric Schmitt,[8] and Jodi Ziemathis.


In 2018, California ranked first in the nation as a producer of electricity from solar, geothermal, and biomass resources and fourth in the nation in conventional hydroelectric power generation.[9] As of 2017, over half of the electricity (52.7%) produced was from renewable sources.[10] CAISO provides a daily report on California renewable electricity generation, compared to overall system demand.[11]

Settlement for blackout

California Independent System Operator settled with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation for $6 million for violations of standards related to the 2011 Southwest blackout.[12][13]

Deliberate 2020 rolling blackouts

Starting August 5 2020, CAISO ordered the utilities operating on its power grid to cut off power to 200,000 - 250,000 customers. While CAISO stated the high temperatures and corresponding high demand for air conditioning necessitated rolling blackouts, it enacted the blackouts with significant power reserves still being available.[14] When causing the rolling blackouts, CAISO acted contrary to its own policy, with its 2019 resource assessment [15] calling for stage 3 emergency only with 3% or less available power resources. When stage 3 was first enacted on 8/15, the CAISO power grid had 8.9% available resources, about three times the required threshold.

See also


  1. ^ "Understanding the CAISO". Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  2. ^ "Our commitment". CAISO. 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  3. ^ "CAISO: Company Information and Facts" (PDF). CAISO. 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  4. ^ "Our leadership". Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  5. ^ Healy, Patrick (August 20, 2020). "Power Outages - Behind the Scenes Maneuvering Averts Even More California Power Outages". Retrieved August 20, 2020.(CEO Stephen Berberich)
  6. ^ "California ISO Board Appoints New Corporate Officer - Roger Collanton is Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary". March 3, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  7. ^ "STACEY CROWLEY JOINS TAHOE FUND BOARD OF DIRECTORS". May 7, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2020.(Stacey Crowley, VP of External and Customer Affairs)
  8. ^ "New Vice President to Lead ISO Market & Grid Operations". September 1, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  9. ^ " California state overview". Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  10. ^ "Overview". Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  11. ^ Daily renewables report
  12. ^ "FERC Approves Fifth Settlement in 2011 Southwest Blackout Case". Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
  13. ^ "California Independent System Operator, FERC and NERC Reach Settlement Agreement". Archived from the original on 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2015-02-08.
  14. ^ Penn, Ivan (2020-08-16). "Rolling Blackouts in California Have Power Experts Stumped". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
  15. ^ "2019-SummerLoads-Resources-Assessment-Report" (PDF). p. 31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links

  • Official website
  • Western Energy Imbalance Market managed by CAISO video