Imperial Irrigation District yesterday (July 16) sued the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) on antitrust grounds. The suit was filed in federal court in San Diego.
The suit says that CAISO "is a monopolist. It controls at least 80 percent of the California electric power transmission service market and the California transmission operations service market." But CAISO is abusing that monopoly at Imperial's expense, charges the suit.
According to the suit, CAISO encouraged the Imperial Irrigation District to spend almost $35 million in upgrades to its transmission system for the express purpose of sending renewable energy from Imperial and Riverside counties to the rest of the state. Then, last year, CAISO reneged on the deal, charges the Imperial district.
There are two interties between CAISO's and Imperials's systems that should permit Imperial's clean energy to be used by California's metropolitan areas. But CAISO blocks usage of both of these interties, says Imperial.