Electricity Markets

Modesto Irrigation District board OKs move to join CAISO EIM

The Modesto Irrigation District (MID) Board of Directors on August 27 unanimously voted to proceed with implementation, administration and participation within the California Independent System Operator’s Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).

The EIM is a voluntary, automated real-time energy wholesale market that matches the lowest cost electricity supply with customer demand.

Costs for MID to join the EIM by 2021 are estimated at $3.3 million for implementation and $1 million for ongoing annual costs.  Economic benefits of MID’s EIM participation are anticipated to be realized within three years, the public power utility said. In order to reduce costs and streamline operations, MID will participate in the EIM through the Balancing Authority of Northern California, of which MID is a member.

“Joining the EIM will provide MID continued access to the market’s diverse, readily-available power resource mix,” said MID General Manager Scott Furgerson.  “Access to this low-cost, growing pool of resources will also further ensure and enhance service reliability to our customers.”

 In addition, MID said that the EIM offers participants an increased ability to integrate renewable energy needed to meet California’s aggressive environmental goals, provides additional sources of real-time supply to augment reliability resources and, because it’s a voluntary market, allows participants to demonstrate support for regional markets while retaining local control.

Active EIM participants include the CAISO, PacificCorp, NV Energy, Puget Sound Energy, Arizona Public Service, Portland General Electric, Powerex, Idaho Power Company, and Balancing Authority of Northern California/Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

Seattle City Light, and Salt River Project expect to begin participating in 2020.  Both are public power utilities.

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Public Service Company of New Mexico, NorthWestern Energy and California’s Turlock Irrigation District expect to begin participating in 2021, while Avista, Tacoma Power and Tuscon Electric Power are targeting 2022.

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Turlock Irrigation District and Washington State-based Tacoma Power are public power utilities.

BPA makes case for Western EIM, proposes signing CAISO agreement

The Bonneville Power Administration on June 20 issued a letter to the region in which BPA describes the business case and legal authority for joining the Western EIM, as well as what it said are important related policy proposals. The letter to the region also proposed BPA sign an EIM Implementation Agreement with CAISO.

Meanwhile, the Southwest Power Pool on June 17 provided details on SPP’s proposal for a Western EIS market that it intends to launch at the end of 2020.

SPP expects a go-live date of December 1, 2020 assuming it receives signed agreements from a sufficient number of customers in advance to ensure funding of implementation costs.

Anita Decker appointed to serve on EIM Governing Body

The EIM Governing Body, which oversees the Western EIM, on Aug. 28 unanimously appointed Anita Decker to serve on the EIM Governing Body.

Decker will begin on Sept. 1, filling a vacant seat with a term that ends in June 2020. 

Decker brings 39 years of electric utility experience, most recently as executive director of the Northwest Public Power Association from 2014 to 2019.

Between 2007 and 2014, Decker served as the chief operating officer for the Bonneville Power Administration, including a stint as acting administrator for the Western Area Power Administration. She was responsible for Bonneville Power Administration’s power services, transmission services, internal business services and environment, fish and wildlife.