Members of the Western Markets Exploratory Group (WMEG) announced on July 21 that they have expanded their membership by adding eleven new participants to the current roster of fourteen utilities totaling twenty-five member participants across the west. Several of the new participants are public power utilities.
WMEG, which was created in 2021, is exploring the potential for a staged approach to new market services including day-ahead energy sales, transmission system expansion, power supply and grid solutions, and existing and emerging public policies.
The eleven new members added to the group are: Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Avista Corp., Balancing Authority of Northern California, Bonneville Power Administration, Chelan County PUD No. 1, El Paso Electric Company, PUD #2 of Grant County, NorthWestern Energy, Tacoma Power, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, and Western Area Power Administration.
Current WMEG membership includes 14 transmission owning utilities across the Desert Southwest, Pacific Northwest, and the Mountain West and includes Xcel Energy Colorado, Arizona Public Service (APS), Black Hills Energy, Idaho Power, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, NV Energy, PacifiCorp, Platte River Power Authority, Portland General Electric, Puget Sound Energy, Salt River Project, Seattle City Light, Tucson Electric Power, and Public Service New Mexico.
Many of the utilities in the group are currently participating in energy imbalance markets and the ongoing development of day-ahead markets.
WMEG is developing pathways to a Western organized market that would allow participants to develop an initial market design proposal and roadmap up to and including operating as a Regional Transmission Organization, depending upon what each state and/or utility determines is in the best interest of their customers.
Utilicast, an energy consulting company, will assist WMEG in developing a roadmap that will identify market requirements, interdependencies, and timelines. WMEG expects these work products will be available towards the end of 2022.