Western Energy Imbalance Market Governing Body selects chair

FOLSOM, Calif. – The newly seated Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) Governing Body elected its Chair and Vice Chair yesterday during its inaugural meeting.

Kristine Schmidt, currently president of Swan Consulting Services, was selected by the Governing Body to serve as its Chair. Schmidt has worked more than 30 years in the energy industry, holding senior and executive management positions for multiple utilities and has served on non-profit boards and associations, which includes the Gridwise Alliance.

Douglas Howe, an independent consultant with more than 33 years’ experience advising and working for utilities and regulators in the West, was selected to serve as Vice Chair of the newly established Governing Body. In addition, he has authored or co-authored over 30 industry papers and formal presentations.

The Governing Body rounded out its first meeting with a series of briefings from California Independent System Operator (ISO) staff, which included an update on the test operations now underway with EIM’s newest entrants Phoenix-based Arizona Public Service (APS) and Puget Sound Energy (PSE) of Washington state. Both utilities will begin binding participation in the EIM October 1.

Additional briefings included one on resource participation in the EIM, a policy roadmap update and a report from the Body of State Regulators, which is composed of members of state regulatory commissions from throughout the West.

The five-member EIM Governing Body was appointed by the ISO Board of Governors in June with delegated authority over the EIM rules. Its members are financially independent from market participants and are selected by representatives of all EIM stakeholders. Members of the Governing Body serve three-year staggered terms.

The EIM currently dispatches least cost energy in real-time in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Following the testing phase, it will expand in October to serve PSE and APS. Portland General Electric is scheduled to begin operation in October 2017 with Idaho Power slated to begin in April 2018.