California ISO, PacifiCorp Outline Implementation Plans For New Energy Market

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The California Independent System Operator (ISO) and PacifiCorp have announced they will launch their planned energy imbalance market (EIM) on Oct. 1 in stages to ensure seamless integration.

The ISO and PacifiCorp, two of the largest western U.S. grid operators, partnered in February 2013 to create the real-time energy market. Once fully operational, the EIM is expected to reduce energy costs and help integrate renewables, among other benefits.

For the past several months, the EIM has been tested in a simulation environment. During October, the EIM will run parallel to PacifiCorp's existing systems, giving both organizations a more accurate view of actual market and operating conditions. PacifiCorp will submit daily schedules of demand and supply to the ISO, with the EIM creating advisory dispatch instructions based on accurate data to optimize the EIM area. Binding dispatches and related financial settlements will begin on Nov. 1.

"I am grateful for the partnership we have with PacifiCorp and our shared commitment to launching a successful market that produces lower energy costs and improves how we integrate renewable resources," says California ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich.

Pat Reiten – president and CEO of Pacific Power, a unit of PacifiCorp – adds, "The EIM marks an important step toward improving the way energy is managed in the West, and I'm pleased we remain on track to bring the benefits of increased coordination to our customers and the region this fall."

The ISO says the new market will use technology to automatically meet demand with the lowest-cost resource across the West. This is effective in using excess generation produced by wind and solar resources during especially favorable weather conditions that otherwise would go unused. The increased geographic diversity also means utilities can pool resources and reduce costly reserves, the grid operator adds.

An additional participant, NV Energy, has been given regulatory approval to participate in the EIM in 2015.

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