Western EIM created nearly $6 million in benefits in first two months

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) and PacifiCorp have found that the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) launched in November 2014 with PacifiCorp has produced estimated benefits in its first two months of operation of $5.97 million.

“Our analysis shows that EIM’s systems are able to find the absolutely lowest cost power plants across six western states to serve demand,” said Mark Rothleder, Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration. “The estimated benefits are significant and in line with our pre-launch projections.”

The estimated benefits are generated by EIM systems more efficiently optimizing resources every 15-minutes and dispatching power plants every five minutes, as well as enabling the ISO and Portland-based PacifiCorp to export or import renewable energy from one balancing area to another depending on need and pricing. The benefit methodology is explained in this Technical Bulletin.

A prelaunch study found that annual benefits would range from $21 million to $129 million, which accrue to both PacifiCorp consumers and ISO wholesale customers. Benefits in the expanded real-time market will increase as additional balancing areas begin participating. Las Vegas-based NV Energy is slated to begin participation on October 1, 2015 and Nevada will join California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming in the EIM.

The ISO built the EIM upon a proven state-of-the-art platform that gives participants a low-cost, low-risk option to buy and sell energy across a large geographic area. This means participants can leverage their renewables to the maximum efficiency.