The California Independent System Operator (ISO) manages the flow of electricity across the high-voltage, long-distance power lines that make up 80 percent of California’s power grid. We safeguard the economy and well-being of 30 million Californians by “keeping the lights on” 24/7.
As the impartial grid operator, the California ISO opens access to the wholesale power market that is designed to diversify resources and lower prices. It also grants equal access to 25,865 circuit-miles of power lines and reduces barriers to diverse resources competing to bring power to customers.
The California ISO’s function is often compared to that of air traffic controllers. It would be grossly unfair for air traffic controllers to represent one airline and profit from allowing that company’s planes to go through before others. In the same way, the California ISO operates independently—managing the electron traffic on a power grid we do not own—making sure electricity is safely delivered to utilities and consumers on time and reliably.
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