Wednesday, August 10, 2016

USA, California: Imperial Irrigation District Wins a Round in Battle for more Geothermal Energy Grid Connection

Judge allows lawsuit over power grid access to proceed (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

A federal judge in San Diego has declined to throw out a lawsuit alleging that the state power grid operator wrongly denied the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) access to transmission lines.

In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony J. Battaglia said attorneys for the Imperial County water and power district convinced him that the California Independent System Operator, or CAISO, may have abused its authority.

“The Court finds IID has sufficiently alleged monopolistic conduct that threatens competition,” he wrote. “Specifically, by depriving IID of its expanded (capacity), generators of renewable energy … who cannot interconnect directly with the CAISO grid cannot compete with other generators for the business of load serving entities located in or through the CAISO grid.”

Imperial County is home to one of the largest reservoirs of geothermal energy in the world. If tapped more fully, California could meet or exceed its mandate to generate at least half of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030, Kelley said.