The California ISO on April 4 said that Idaho Power and Powerex have entered the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM), allowing the ISO’s real-time power market to serve energy imbalances occurring within about 55% of the electric load in the Western Interconnection.
IDACORP’s (NYSE:IDA) Idaho Power serves a population of about 1.2 million people in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon via a high-voltage and distribution transmission system encompassing 32,298 circuit miles, the ISO noted. Powerex, which is the marketing arm of BC Hydro, has significant access to hydroelectricity and transmission capacity with licenses and permits from Canadian and U.S. regulators to serve customers, including utilities, independent power producers, and other marketers, in Canada and across the United States, the ISO said.
The eight western EIM participants now serve more than 42 million consumers in the power grid stretching from the border with Canada south to Arizona, and eastward to Wyoming, the ISO said.
The real-time energy market uses state-of-the-art technology to find the best ways to deliver low-cost power across eight states, the ISO said, adding that the market also reduces costs by allowing participating utilities to pool required energy reserves.
The western EIM has saved utilities more than a quarter-billion dollars since its launch in November 2014 through 2017, the ISO said, noting that the market also found a home for excess solar generation that otherwise would have been turned off, reducing carbon emissions by nearly 223,000 metric tons.
According to the western EIM website, the active participants in the EIM along with Idaho Power and Powerex are PacifiCorp, NV Energy, Puget Sound Energy, Arizona Public Service, and Portland General Electric.
The site also noted that the pending participants are the Balancing Authority of Northern California/SMUD, to enter in 2019; Los Angeles Department of Power & Water, to enter in 2020; Salt River Project, to enter in 2020; and Seattle City Light, to enter in 2020.