SOURCE: California Independent System Operator Corporation

California Independent System Operator Corporation

November 23, 2015 14:02 ET

Portland General Electric Formalizes Agreement to Join EIM

PGE, ISO Agreement Starts Process for 2017 Market Entry

FOLSOM, CA--(Marketwired - November 23, 2015) - Portland General Electric Company (PGE) and the California Independent System Operator (ISO) announced today they have filed an implementation agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, paving the way for the Portland, Ore.-based utility to participate in the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) starting in October 2017.

PGE recently filed an assessment by Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. with the Oregon Public Utility Commission, showing potential cost savings and efficiency gains for PGE and its customers from EIM participation and pooling of flexible reserves among EIM participants.

The western EIM is a real-time energy wholesale market that automatically dispatches the lowest-cost electricity resources available to meet utility customer needs while optimizing use of renewable energy over a large geographic area.

"PGE has been working since 2013 to prepare our grid systems to effectively manage variable energy resources and participate fully in a real-time market, such as the western EIM," said PGE President and CEO Jim Piro. "We have looked carefully at the alternatives and believe the western EIM provides the best all-around strategy currently available to us for capturing the greatest benefit for our customers."

PGE is the most recent utility to announce participation in the western EIM. Phoenix-based Arizona Public Service and Puget Sound Energy are set to enter the market in 2016. Nevada-based NV Energy will begin participating on December 1, 2015.

"The first year of EIM has been very successful and produced significant cost savings," said Steve Berberich, ISO president and CEO. "With additional participants, we envision even lower generation costs and more efficient use of clean energy resources. We are pleased that PGE wants to share in those benefits."

The PGE benefits analysis found that the western EIM will provide PGE access to a larger and more diverse resource mix, including the region's growing renewables portfolio. The EIM balances supply and demand every 15 and 5 minutes with the most cost-efficient resource to serve consumer demand. It also responds to variable renewable energy production by optimizing the grid across the entire footprint of the EIM market. Utilities participating in the real-time market share generation resources, which significantly lowers the cost of producing and supplying power.

The ISO and PacifiCorp launched the western EIM on Nov. 1, 2014. Currently, the EIM automatically dispatches least-cost energy in real time in California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

To see the implementation agreement, click here.

For more information on EIM, visit the ISO Energy Imbalance Market overview webpage.

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The California ISO provides open and non-discriminatory access to one of the largest power grids in the world. The vast network of high-voltage transmission power lines is supported by a competitive energy market and comprehensive grid planning. Partnering with about a hundred clients, the nonprofit public benefit corporation is dedicated to the continual development and reliable operation of a modern grid that operates for the benefit of consumers. Recognizing the importance of the global climate challenge, the ISO is at the forefront of integrating renewable power and advanced technologies that will help meet a sustainable energy future efficiently and cleanly.

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