California ISO: FERC actions support expansion of real-time market

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The California Independent System Operator (California ISO) and PacifiCorp announced tariff amendments to expand the ISO’s real-time energy scheduling market across multiple states in the West was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The new market, known as the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM), is expected to increase resource efficiency, reduce costs and more effectively use renewable and conventional resources.

“The FERC approval marks a major step in making the ISO real-time market available to other energy balancing authorities across the West,” said Steve Berberich, president and CEO of the California ISO. “Such a multi-state approach is an innovative and responsible direction that will facilitate a more efficient use of renewable resources while reducing costs for not only market participants, but the consumer.”

“With these rulings, we remain on track for the EIM to launch in October and to bring these needed and important changes to manage the electrical grid in the West far more efficiently,” said Pat Reiten, president and CEO of Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp.

Under the EIM, the California ISO will automatically dispatch the best resources to meet immediate changes in energy demands. EIM also provides advanced resource modeling, a 15-minute scheduling option, congestion management, and a better situational awareness of the grid, all supporting a more efficient, economical and reliable operation of the grid. Leveraging resource diversity across a large geographic area means that, among other things, grid operators can reduce the amount of energy reserves they individually have to carry, which reduces costs.

The EIM design and development over the past two years was made possible through the commitment and cooperation of stakeholders across the West including its first participant, PacifiCorp. When including the Portland-based utility’s operating area in the EIM, the California ISO’s real-time market will operate simultaneously across the six states of California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

The scheduled EIM go live is set for October 1, 2014. In addition, Las Vegas-based NV Energy has applied with their state regulator to begin participation in the new market beginning in October 2015. Additional participants can enter the EIM at low cost and low risk.

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