The California ISO said that the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), part of the Balancing Authority of Northern California (BANC), successfully began full participation in the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) on April 3.
The Western EIM, which is a real-time wholesale power market, uses state-of-the-art technology to find and deliver low-cost energy to meet real-time energy demand across eight western states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Arizona, the ISO said.
ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich said in the statement: “The Western EIM demonstrates the economic and environmental savings achieved when participants work collaboratively across the region. As one of the premiere community-owned utilities in the country, SMUD’s participation will only strengthen the market and add to its efficiency and diversity.”
SMUD CEO Arlen Orchard said in the statement, in part: “The EIM’s geographic diversity allows easier and more economical balancing and integration of intermittent renewable energy resources, helping SMUD meet its and California’s aggressive renewable and carbon-reduction goals.”
BANC General Manager Jim Shetler said in the statement: “BANC is excited to be the first publicly owned agency to become an EIM Entity in the Western EIM. We found the CAISO staff to be extremely helpful in assisting us in what was a very smooth transition effort. BANC is currently evaluating future participation by its other members.”
SMUD joins current EIM participants: PacifiCorp, NV Energy, Arizona Public Service, Puget Sound Energy, Portland General Electric, Idaho Power, and Powerex (2018), the ISO said, adding that other entities scheduled to begin participation in the EIM include Seattle City Light, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Salt River Project in 2020. Pending regulatory approval, Public Service Company of New Mexico and Northwestern Energy are set to participate in the EIM beginning in 2021, the ISO said.
According to a Jan. 31 ISO statement, the 4Q18 Western EIM benefits report showed the market has generated $564.88m in benefits since its launch in November 2014, and that the benefits for October, November, and December 2018 reached $62.57m for the eight participating members, including $21.68m for PacifiCorp, $10.03m for Arizona Public Service, and $9.12m for Portland General Electric.
The Western EIM in 4Q18 continued to help displace less clean energy supplies by using 23,425 MWh of surplus renewable energy that otherwise would have been curtailed, the ISO said. Since the end of 2014, the effective use of carbon-free generation from the market has amounted to reducing a gross of 324,284 metric tons of CO2, according to the ISO.