SCP Caiso

Ten visual displays, on a wall 80 feet wide by 6½ feet high in the Folsom control center, let operators grasp volumes of information at a glance.

On the southern edge of Folsom east of Sacramento sits the nerve center of California’s electricity markets, the headquarters of the California Independent System Operator, manager of one of the largest power grids in the world. An independent nonprofit that opened in 1998 when the state restructured its wholesale electricity industry, the Independent System Operator matches buyers and sellers for more than 28,000 market transactions every day and routs electricity across the high-voltage long distance power lines of the electron superhighway to 30 million customers 24/7.

Because electricity can not yet be cost-effectively stored, supply and demand must always be in balance.

To watch the California energy market unfold in real time, go to

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