SOURCE: California Independent System Operator Corporation

California Independent System Operator Corporation

February 11, 2015 14:38 ET

Western EIM Created Nearly $6 Million in Benefits in First Two Months

Analysis Shows Consumers Saved by Sharing Resources in Wide Geographic Area

FOLSOM, CA--(Marketwired - February 11, 2015) - The California Independent System Operator (ISO) and PacifiCorp have found that the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) launched in November 2014 with PacifiCorp has produced estimated benefits in its first two months of operation of $5.97 million. The benefits report can be found here.

"Our analysis shows that EIM's systems are able to find the absolutely lowest cost power plants across six western states to serve demand," said Mark Rothleder, Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration. "The estimated benefits are significant and in line with our pre-launch projections."

The table below shows the monthly benefits by balancing authority areas (ISO, PacifiCorp-East/PACE & PacifiCorp-West/PACW).

BAA November December Total
ISO $0.65 $0.59 $1.24
PACE $1.05 $1.26 $2.31
PACW $1.39 $1.03 $2.42
Total $3.09 $2.88 $5.97

Table 1: Estimated benefits shown are in the millions and accrued for the last two months in 2014.

The estimated benefits are generated by EIM systems more efficiently optimizing resources every 15-minutes and dispatching power plants every five minutes, as well as enabling the ISO and Portland-based PacifiCorp to export or import renewable energy from one balancing area to another depending on need and pricing. The benefit methodology is explained in this Technical Bulletin.

A prelaunch study found that annual benefits would range from $21 million to $129 million, which accrue to both PacifiCorp consumers and ISO wholesale customers. Benefits in the expanded real-time market will increase as additional balancing areas begin participating. Las Vegas-based NV Energy is slated to begin participation on October 1, 2015 and Nevada will join California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming in the EIM.

The ISO built the EIM upon a proven state-of-the-art platform that gives participants a low-cost, low-risk option to buy and sell energy across a large geographic area. This means participants can leverage their renewables to the maximum efficiency. For instance, when wind generation is creating excesses in California, PacifiCorp may be able to import that low cost power to serve customers in its states. This is also true when PacifiCorp's large wind fleet is producing excess energy that is used in the ISO area. Taking advantage of flexible power plants and the ability to export and import energy enables both grid operators to reliably manage their systems while reducing customer costs. 

The ISO has committed to performing periodic benefit analysis, but early evidence shows that EIM will continue to provide benefits to participating entities and their customers for the long term. See more about the EIM on the ISO website.

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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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