May 22, 2002 — Yesterday Santa Ana Democrat Joe Dunn accused the California Independent System Operator (ISO) of manipulative practices akin to those of energy traders like Enron.
Specifically, Dunn pointed to an incident recorded by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) in November 2001 where the ISO asked the DWR for help in keeping power plants at their required operating level.
To do so, the ISO suggested that the DWR create a “fictious load,” inflating the demand numbers a bit to keep the generators running a steady supply.
DWR representative Oscar Hidalgo stated that the DWR refused to schedule the “fictious load” but did buy extra electricity and sell surplus power they had at a loss to assist the ISO in this matter.
Dunn called for the resignation of ISO chief Terry Winter in response to the incident.
Countering Dunn’s remarks, Michael Kahn, chairman of the ISO’s Board of Governors released the following statement:
“The ISO will investigate the incident outlined in Senator Dunn’s release and report our findings to the Legislature and the public in the near future. However, there is no evidence at this time to indicate any wrongful conduct or manipulation of the ISO’s markets.
“The California ISO Board has full confidence in ISO management and staff, which have served the State of California well.”