IID Board Cancels Path 42 Projects




EL CENTRO – The IID Board of Directors approved a recommendation by IID Energy Manager Vicken Kasarjian to cancel the Path 42 Special Project System (SPS) Tuesday at their regular meeting.

The Path 42 SPS had been initially presented and approved by the board back on November 13, 2012.

The SPS was a relay-protection project needed to curtail generation interconnected to IID’s Midway and Highline substations for outages on transmission lines in the Coachella Valley area.

The SPS was intended to increase IID’s ability to export power from renewable energy sources in the Valley and minimize merchant tripping during a loss of the 230-kv NK/KS line between Coachella Valley Substation to the Devers and Mirage substations.

According to, and under the direction of Kasarjian, a recent assessment by staff of the transmission system determined the Path 42 SPS project is not needed for reliability or to resolve any system instability issues.

The total project cost was estimated to be $5,877,157. Expenditures to date are $4,172,329.

The Ramon Bank No.2, 230/92-kV 225 MVA Transformer Addition, was also cancelled for the same reasoning.

The project consisted of installation of a new 230/92-kV 300 autotransformer at the Ramon Substation. Total estimated cost was $12,503,101 over a three-year period.

“To continue with these projects would put an unnecessary burden upon IID at this time,” said Kasarjian. “Therefore, we would like to cancel them.”

“There were thorough assessments re-issued on this project?” director James Hanks asked.

“Yes, Sir,” said Kasarjian.

Director Stephen Benson asked if there were other uses for the equipment already purchased for the project.

Kasarjian said he would look in to it and get back to him.

The directors raised several concerns about not doing the upgrades, but Kasarjian said that the systems are capable of handling whatever comes along.

“We have done several studies, including contingencies,” said Kasarjian. “We actually overloaded our system beyond our worst case scenario for summer operations of IID by another five percent and we did not see any issue.”





  1. The IID Board is being inconsistent in their approach to running the energy department. Like the Keystone Cops that other water agencies accuse them of being, they are all over the street. For instance: they have collected geothermal wheeling fees for about 30 years but they did not put the money back into maintaining the transmission system. They used the funds to keep rates low, which is nice, but just like a car that is not repaired or replaced periodically, the electric transmission system needs to be maintained too. A few years ago the Board saw this as a problem and agreed to divert some of the wheeling fees to upgrading the transmission system and protecting the Balancing Area (BA). That was the intent of the Path 42 project. By reconductoring the lines and upgrading the substations and protection schemes IID would be able to export up to twice the energy out than we presently do. So we put that effort into that project until the CAISO proclaimed they couldn’t take more energy from IID’s BA, as they didn’t have the capacity on their system. So IID management and some of the Board members started meeting with CAISO directors. Things appeared to be progressing until the IID’s GM and the legal counsel decided to stop negotiating with the CAISO and just sued them. Along the way (beginning in 2008) the Board hired ZGlobal to assist the engineering department in planning transmission projects and to protect the IID’s BA. So now here we are, word is the lawsuit isn’t working out, ZGlobal now claims that we don’t need transmission capacity, and the board and GM blame everything on the IID planning engineers. By firing the engineers the board members can claim they were misled by them and the public should blame IID staff (and not hold the board members accountable). This was the same approach the board used on the BA bypass issue with the CAISO and SDG&E around Imperial Valley Substation. Truth will prevail eventually. The question is why fire the engineers? Why not fire ZGlobal? The board needs to be held accountable. We may all have our favorite solutions. Mine are to fire the GM, fire legal counsel, and fire ZGlobal. Bring back the former energy manager and the staff engineers, finish the Path 42 project and start talking to the CAISO. Time is running out.

    • This is the most coherent explanation of the firings and shenanigans at IID Energy I have read. It also proposes a sane solution.

      • The sad truth is the writer is right as to the harm Z$$$ and GM have done to IID. The answer is not Stills as he allows this to get this bad.

        • This is a quick solution that is better than FPPC investigation which is where this is going, though I’d like to see the GM, attorney, Z$$$ and anyone else who got favors go to jail.

    • good summation of the issues. the old gang had issues and could have done better with the proper leadership and a focus on real issues and less personality. the wholesale bloodletting was not a good move and alienates more employees resulting in more time doing CYA.

  2. This will reduce Capacity to meet FERC and could be part of a plan to sell off La Quinta that provides 65% of the revenue. Will provide a nice short term payoff to a privileged few and pave the way for CAISO takeover of energy. Water loses financial support of joint services and water & energy prices will quickly more than double. Jobs and careers, provided for over a century will be lost.

  3. ZGlobal breaking up their transmission projections to show money saving. Will cost more later when must be done. Will blame on IID energy employees. Expect lowest rates in the industry to be raised .Why do you replace IID employees with a promoter’s when you have the lowest rates, any way?

  4. What the DR should be reporting on the $35million Battery project and the relationship ZGLOBAL I has being the engineer for both the contractor and IID

    • ZG is the engineer on Sonora, Alhambra, Arkansas, Seville and Midway Solar I II. Now they can also have pick of any new projects. Whew, they bought the whole farm with a few Rolex’s & hiring of relatives!

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