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WAPA seeks comments on draft recommendations to implement Chu memo

From the November 29, 2012 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published November 29, 2012

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director

The Western Area Power Administration is seeking comments on draft recommendations growing out of Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s March 16 memo directing the federal power marketing administrations to make dramatic changes to their operations and capital improvement plans. A "joint outreach team" of DOE and WAPA staff developed the 13 recommendations, which fall into three categories: increasing grid efficiency, improving transmission products and integrating variable renewables. Comments on the draft recommendations are due by Jan. 22, 2013.

Among the recommendations is a proposal to study costs and benefits of an energy imbalance market, which the team’s report said is one possible way to achieve some of the benefits of sub-hourly scheduling and improved coordination among balancing authorities. "Business objectives for participation in an energy imbalance market would address a number of customer, tribe and stakeholder concerns," the report said. These include that benefits exceed costs and that the energy imbalance market is "viewed as a voluntary endeavor and not a first step towards formation of an RTO." 

The report calls for completing imbalance market precursor analyses, such as identifying imputed transmission rates and estimating each balancing authority’s level of energy imbalance requirement, within three to six months. "The ultimate decision to study the feasibility of joining an energy imbalance market is contingent on the state of market design and governance activities occurring in each region/sub-region," the report said.


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