From a press release:
Puget Sound Energy, the largest utility in Washington state serving more than 1.1 million electric customers in 10 counties, began participating in the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) on Oct. 1.
The EIM is an energy supply market that serves real-time demand every 15 minutes and dispatches power every five minutes with the lowest cost energy. The wide geographic area across which the market operates facilities provides efficient dispatch of resources, including renewable resources, while protecting grid reliability.
With NV Energy and PacifiCorp participating in the market to date, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) that operates the market, reported in July 2016 that the EIM yielded $88.2 million in total benefits since beginning operations in 2014.
PSE will be joining NV Energy and PacifiCorp in the EIM along with Arizona Public Service (APS), which is based in Phoenix. With the addition of these two entities, the EIM will operate in eight states with four EIM Entities and the ISO serving real-time consumer demand across California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Arizona.
PSE signed an Implementation Agreement with the ISO on March 5, 2015 and APS followed, signing an Implementation Agreement in May 2015. Since then, the entities have been working with the ISO to prepare for go-live and to ensure efficient and productive operation of the market as it continues to expand. Two additional entities have executed Implementation Agreements with the ISO. Portland General Electric will begin participating in the EIM in October 2017, followed by Idaho Power in April 2018.
According to the market results produced by the ISO to date, the efficiencies gained from using resources across a wider geographic area and sharing energy reserves among utilities have shown economic and environmental benefits, which increase with each additional participant.
“The CAISO EIM marks the beginning of a fundamental shift in how new energy markets can be deployed to mitigate a number of operational and policy challenges here in the Pacific Northwest. Puget Sound Energy anticipates that our involvement in the EIM will provide enhanced system reliability, promote the efficient integration of renewable resources, assist in decarbonizing the grid by averting the curtailment of renewable resources and provide benefits to our customers ,” said David Mills, PSE Vice President of Energy Operations.
Over the coming weeks, PSE, APS and CAISO will continue to monitor and improve performance of the market and the integrated operations of the expanded EIM footprint.