The only open market power grid in the western United States continues to grow its boundaries after winning unanimous approval from its Board of Governors last week to add two new public power entities as participating transmission members in 2013.

The California Independent System Operator Corp. (ISO) Board approved the participating transmission owner application for Valley Electric and its wholly owned subsidiary Valley Electric Transmission Association, LLC, based in Pahrump, Nevada.

Valley Electric will be the first Nevada-based utility to join the ISO. The Nevada Office of Energy submitted into the public record a letter of support.

The Board also voted to allow City of Colton to become part of the ISO. The City of Colton has operated its own municipal utility since 1895 and currently serves 19,000 customers. The utility has a peak load of 90 megawatts and owns diverse generation resources in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.

“Becoming a participating transmission owner allows Colton to acquire transmission access to new renewable resources in California and the Southwest necessary to meet California’s green power goals,” said Colton General Manager David Kolk. “The City of Colton extends its thanks to the ISO for accepting our participating transmission owner application and looks forward to working with the ISO on transmission issues in the future.”

The two new ISO members will bring to eight the number of municipal utilities that have turned operational control of their transmission to the ISO to manage. The cities of Anaheim, Azusa, Pasadena, Riverside, Vernon and Banning are current transmission members of the ISO.

Upon execution of a transmission control agreement, the utilities become participating transmission owners, subject to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepting the transmission owner tariff and transmission revenue requirement.