Imperial, California - A federal judge has ruled that Imperial Irrigation District’s court case alleging monopolistic practices by the California Independent System Operator can proceed. 

In his ruling on Monday, United States District Court Judge Anthony J. Battaglia also stated that IID’s case against CAISO threatens competition for generators of renewable energy located within the district’s service territory.

“This reduction in competition for generation potentially raises the costs of renewable energy for those entities,” the court wrote, and could “ultimately affect the rates passed on to the public.”

Judge Battaglia also let stand the IID’s claims against CAISO for breach of contract, conversion, unjust enrichment and restitution.

“IID is pleased that the case against CAISO can now move forward,” said IID general manager Kevin Kelley. “There is no doubt that the district, its renewable energy generators and ultimately its ratepayers have been harmed by the state’s grid operator in denying transmission access to IID’s balancing area.”

Last July, the district initiated civil litigation, alleging CAISO’s deliberate and systematic marginalization of IID, its ratepayers and all renewable energy generators seeking to develop projects in the district’s service area. The district alleges that, CAISO, through its actions over many years has exercised its monopoly power to manipulate the import capability values it assigns to IID to stifle competition, create uncertainty in the marketplace and, effectively, take over IID’s energy balancing authority area.