Northern California public utilities form Balancing Authority

The Balancing Authority of Northern California (BANC) is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) consisting of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Modesto Irrigation District (MID), Roseville Electric, Redding Electric Utility, Trinity Public Utility District (TPUD) and the City of Shasta Lake as its founding Members. BANC assumed the Balancing Authority responsibilities on May 1, 2011 from SMUD that include the matching of generation to load and coordinating system operations with neighboring Balancing Authorities.

BANC is the third largest Balancing Authority in California and the 16th largest Balancing Authority within the WECC area. The Central Valley Project (CVP) generation, owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and Western Area Power Administration's transmission facilities along with the 500 kV California Oregon Transmission Project (COTP), are included among other resources within the BANC footprint. BANC Members contract for about 40% of the CVP hydroelectric resource. The COTP is jointly owned by several parties including WAPA and BANC Members via the Transmission Agency of Northern California.

Creation of the BANC as a partnership between public and government entities provides for an alternative platform to other Balancing Authorities like the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). BANC provides reliable grid operation consistent with standards developed and enforced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC). BANC contracts with SMUD for operations of the Balancing Authority.

BANC provides its Members an ownership voice in all Balancing Authority decisions consistent with the principle of maximizing consumer value. It also provides members a unified voice and representation in topics pertaining to Balancing Area matters. The structure provides flexibility to expand, offers potential cost-saving opportunities by sharing future facility costs, and clarifies roles and responsibilities of the members regarding reliability standard compliance.