Seattle City Light Compliance Officer Jim Baggs has been elected to chair the membership committee that will advise a new company created to oversee electric reliability coordination for energy generation and transmission in 17 western states.
“I’ve interacted with a lot of other utilities throughout the West over the years,” Baggs said. “A lot of this job is a relationship and management challenge more than anything else.”
The reliability coordinator company, which has yet to be formally named but is currently known as the RCCo, starts its operations Jan. 1. It was created in June by dividing up the Western Electric Coordinating Council (WECC), which has had broad responsibility for many activities, including both reliability coordination and compliance with reliability regulations.
Both organizations will be governed by an independent board rather than representatives from the region’s utilities. The utilities will maintain a role in helping to influence governance and support compliance and reliability through Member Advisory Committees.
In its new format, WECC will continue to oversee compliance matters.
The reliability coordinator company is charged with modeling transmission systems, monitoring conditions of the interconnected western electrical grid, and making sure the tools, training and systems are in place to respond should circumstances create the risk of widespread outages.
For utility customers throughout the region, improved performance by a new organization with reliability as its sole focus is expected to reduce the likelihood of such problems.
Baggs was one of 15 chosen for the reliability coordinator company’s advisory committee. He was then elected chair by committee members.
“We all have the same goal: reliability,” Baggs said. “Our role is to position the organization to do what it needs to do to ensure reliability of the electric system in the West.”