ISO-NE welcomes Connecticut government officials to new Windsor Backup Control Center
State commissioners from Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and officials from the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) toured the newly completed Backup Control Center (BCC) located in Windsor, Conn., earlier this week. The objective of the tour on June 10 was to inform key energy and emergency officials in the state of the purpose and capabilities of the ISO’s new BCC.
About the BCC
The new BCC was developed to ensure the ISO has the ability to:
- Provide continuous operation of all grid, markets, and settlements functions.
- Comply with reliability standards set by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The ISO conducted studies to determine the requirements and factors that would make a new BCC as functional as, and comparable to, the master control center (MCC) in Holyoke, Mass. The results of the study found that a BCC should:
- Have a control room as similar to the MCC as possible in order to reduce potential errors when switching facilities.
- Include a complete data center capable of accommodating current and future systems requirements.
- Be in a location with multiple access routes, yet not so close to the MCC to be at risk a of “single point failure.”
Through an analysis of these findings, and discussions with the ISO New England Board, the NEPOOL Budget and Finance Subcommittee, and other stakeholders, the ISO decided on the final location in Windsor, Conn. Construction began in 2013, and the facility was officially completed and opened in late March 2014.
The new BCC is home to a simulator, data center and permanent office space for ISO staff to help support all of the functions required by the ISO Business Continuity Plan. NERC and FERC currently require that a BCC should be able to resume operations within two hours of an event at a MCC and be capable of maintaining long-term operation in order to comply with reliability standards. Located just 23.5 miles away from the main campus, the new BCC allows for full activation and staffing of ISO employees within that timeframe in the event of an evacuation of the MCC.
The ISO is pleased to have this project completed and successfully running to help power system reliability under extreme circumstances.