California ISO extends in-person meeting restrictions due to COVID-19

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) is extending temporary restrictions for in-person meetings at its offices and at off-site venues until Sept. 14, or until further notice.

While the pandemic and statewide stay-at-home orders have not caused reliability issues with the electricity system, the power grid has experienced a moderate amount of reduced energy usage due to the order to shelter in place. An updated analysis of load impacts is publicly available on the News webpage of the ISO’s website. A COVID-19 section on that page houses all pandemic-related news and presentations.

At the beginning of the virus outbreak, the ISO activated its pandemic response plan to protect the health of company staff and concentrate on the core service of operating the power grid without disruption of critical operations.

As part of the response plan, all in-person meetings were suspended and have been converted to teleconference or webinars. All tours to ISO facilities, including its main headquarters in Folsom, are cancelled, and all non-essential business travel for ISO employees is suspended until Sept. 14.

For personnel working in the ISO building, including grid operators, the ISO is following guidelines from public health officials for cleanliness and social distancing. Protection measures include isolating control centers and grid operators from the rest of the building; keeping shifts of operators at the primary and backup control centers separate; and taking temperatures and evaluating for possible symptoms for any staff entering the building.

The ISO’s 2020 Stakeholder Symposium, scheduled for Oct. 29 and 30 in San Diego, was also cancelled, due to current statewide restrictions on large gatherings.

The ISO continues to closely monitor the outbreak, follow state and federal public health recommendations, and will provide periodic updates to help stakeholders actively participate in meetings. Visit caiso.com for the latest information regarding meetings and visitor restrictions, follow us on Twitter at @California_ISO. To track market notices and activities, follow @ISOMarketNotice, and sign up for the Daily Briefing.

The ISO is responsible for managing the flow of electricity that serves 80 percent of California and a small portion of Nevada. The ISO also runs a real-time energy market for utilities in eight western states and conducts reliability coordinator services to most balancing authorities in the West.

This article was released by the California Independent System Operator.

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