Steve Berberich, president and CEO of the California Independent System Operator, issued the following response to Idaho Power Co. announcement that it plans to pursue participation in the ISO’s Energy Imbalance Market. Idaho Power’s announcement comes after a similar announcement last week by Portland General Electric.
“Clearly, the EIM is seen as a viable tool for many utilities interested in creating more efficiencies in the real-time market and capturing tangible savings for their customers,” Berberich said. “We are anxious to assist Idaho Power as they explore EIM and help them transition seamlessly into our real-time market.”
The EIM is an automated, real-time energy wholesale market that matches the lowest cost electricity supply with demand every 15 minutes and dispatches every 5 minutes. This flexibility provides more opportunities to integrate cleaner sources of energy, such as wind and solar, that may be produced in one area but needed in another.
This regional approach reduces costs for all electricity production in the EIM, which currently operates in California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Wyoming and, later this year, Nevada.
Current EIM participant, PacifiCorp, and the ISO have saved a combined $21.4 million over the first eight months of operation. PacifiCorp entered the market on November 1, 2014 to take advantage of the EIM platform to automatically dispatch least-cost resources across the combined ISO-PacifiCorp region.
Nevada-based NV Energy will begin active participation in the EIM on November 1, 2015. Meanwhile, work is underway for Puget Sound Energy in Washington and Arizona Public Service to enter the real-time market in October 2016.
Idaho Power Co. has nearly 516,000 customers with a service area spanning approximately 24,000 square miles in southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon.