western EIM

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has registered two new members in the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).

Southern Idaho and eastern Oregon based utility Idaho Power and wholesale energy marketing firm Powerex have joined the EIM.

Idaho Power provides electricity to 1.2 million people whilst Powerex is an energy trading firm marketing electricity for companies including BC Hydro.

The addition of the two energy companies increases the EIM’s customer base to include 55% of the electric load in the western interconnection.

In total, the western interconnection serves more than 42 million consumers connected to power grids from the US-Canadian border to Arizona and eastward to Wyoming.

To date, the western EIM has eight participants and has saved utilities more than a quarter-billion dollars since its launch in November 2014 through 2017.

CAISO has through the western EIM reduced approximately 223,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to taking 50,000 cars off the road.

The energy market uses technology to identify regions or customers in need of cheaper and clean energy and grid networks with excess energy. The system then redirects the excess energy to areas with high demands and less energy to meet the requirements.

CAISO is expecting utilities including the Balancing Authority of Northern California and Sacramento Municipal Utility District to enter its regional market by April 2019, and Salt River Project of Phoenix, Seattle City Light and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in April 2020.