By Sylvie Dale, Online Editor
April 10, 2002 — The California Independent System Operator (ISO) announced Tuesday it is conducting a vigorous internal investigation into inappropriate communication that occurred between an ISO control room employee and a market participant during trading activity last summer.
In a news conference held Tuesday, ISO said it fired an employee Monday after learning he may have shared electricity bid information with Enron, ISO General Counsel Charles Robinson said Tuesday. The employee’s name wasn’t released.
Enron subsequently was the winning bidder for that wholesale electricity contract for replacement reserve capacity. The ISO said the July 3, 2001 incident appears to be an isolated one but is in violation of its code of conduct, and it will take steps to prevent such improper communication in the future.
Enron’s bid was probably for less than 100 MW of electricity, Robinson said. The incident was discovered during Calif. Sen. Joe Dunn’s committee investigation into price manipulation of the state’s energy markets. Enron had recorded the call and provided the tape to Dunn’s committee when subpoenaed for information. Dunn’s committee then informed the ISO of the leak.