NV Energy wins OK to tap into western energy market

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The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved on August 26 NV Energy’s request to participate in the expanded Energy Imbalance Market (EIM), which automatically optimizes resources across a wide geographic region and in turn reduces energy costs.

Study results show that NV Energy will share with other market participants in benefiting from low cost resources participating in the EIM, which uses technology provided by the California Independent System Operator to analyze supply and demand in the western U.S. and dispatch the lowest cost resources to meet energy needs every five minutes.

In granting the Las Vegas-based utility’s request, the Commission said that participation in the six-state EIM would "continue to optimize the value of the overall supply portfolio of NV Energy for the benefit of its bundled retail customers..."

The EIM uses technology to identify changes in supply and demand and then automatically finding lowest cost resources to meet fluctuating demand across the West. This is effective in using the excess generation produced by wind and solar resources when weather conditions are especially favorable for generation that otherwise would go unused. The market’s first participant, Portland-based PacifiCorp will enter the EIM in October 2014. NV Energy will begin participating in the EIM starting in October 2015.

“Renewable resources vary with the weather and by having a large pool of resources to draw upon means we are better able to smooth out the variability in power flows caused by changing conditions,” said Walter Spansel, Vice President, Transmission for NV Energy. “Just one of the EIM benefits is reducing the need to carry as much in reserves, which can be expensive.”

EIM participants do not formally join the ISO and only pay according to their EIM use, and they can leave at any time without having to pay exit fees. Also, EIM participants continue to meet all other duties and reliability requirements in their service areas as well as meet compliance obligations.

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