Portland General Electric plans to explore joining EIM

California Independent System Operator President and CEO Steve Berberich issued the following statement in response to the Sept. 18 announcement by Portland General Electric (PGE) of its intent to explore joining the ISO’s western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).

“The ISO is pleased with Portland General Electric’s decision to pursue participation in the western Energy Imbalance Market, which has demonstrated significant success and cost savings in the real time energy market,” said Berberich. “We look forward to working with Portland General Electric to save costs for them and their customers through this proven market.”

The EIM is a real-time energy wholesale market that automatically dispatches the lowest cost electricity available to serve demand. EIM is currently operating in California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and, later this year, Nevada. With its larger geographic area, EIM has more access to lower-cost power as well as renewable energy to serve demand.

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 and found benefits by taking advantage of EIM’s automatically selecting least cost power to meet demand.

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 EIM in October 2016.

Portland General Electric (PGE) serves over 849,000 customers within a 4,000-square mile service territory that includes 52 cities in Oregon and a population of about 1.8 million people.