California ISO continues long-standing partnership with BSI to enhance software capabilities

Category: Voltage Stability

Folsom, CA -- The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) is contracting with Bigwood Systems, Inc. (BSI) to develop enhancements for the Voltage Stability Analysis (VSA) suite of applications in use at CAISO to improve visibility, functionality and operational features in their Reliability Coordination applications and services. These VSA enhancements cover the multiple execution modes for the CAISO, namely, Real-Time, Look-Ahead, Day-Ahead, Short Term Unit Commitment, and Study mode for all VSA&E online applications. 

The VSA&E platform has been in CAISO control center production use since 2008 and continues to be upgraded to further align VSA&E capabilities with the growth of CAISO’s Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) and to support their role as reliability coordinator, RC West, for 42 balancing authorities and transmission operators in the western United States. CAISO and BSI have worked together for over 12 years, growing the VSA tool into a premier tool for real-time system operating limit calculation and stability assessment.


To develop the requirements for this project, 2020 Reliability Coordinator Enhancements and extensive time and effort were invested by CAISO Operations and IT Support in collaboration with Bigwood Systems prior to the start of project development to refine the requirements and design approaches. Maintaining flexibility in designing the software enhancements allowed the CAISO team to adapt the implementation to best serve their operation in this dynamic and demanding environment.

The enhancements introduce many new features that facilitate CAISO operations, including the two following functions. For the online processing side, a distributed control function was added to allow authorized users to seamlessly verify and set model parameters and operational data on the server directly from the client program. This feature is also available in the VSA&E study mode. The upgraded release will now import directly the full node breaker model from the online system for use in study mode. Topology processing and model conversion from a node breaker model to a bus branch model will be handled in study mode to enhance the study analysis capability. 

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) is a nonprofit public benefit corporation dedicated, with its partners, to continuous improvement and secure operation of a reliable grid operated for the benefit of consumers. It provides comprehensive grid planning, open and nondiscriminatory access to one of the largest networks of high-voltage transmission power lines in the world, and operates a $9 billion competitive electricity market. Recognizing the importance of the global climate challenge, the ISO is at the forefront of integrating renewable power and advanced technologies to help provide a sustainable energy future efficiently and cleanly.