Powering Strong Communities

Western EIM governing body adopts initiatives for summer reliability

The Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) governing body on March 10 unanimously approved market and operational enhancements for Western EIM entities participating in the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) real-time energy market.

The enhancements are intended to help maintain grid reliability this summer.

CAISO said the governing body’s decision will improve the resource sufficiency evaluation to ensure each balancing authority area participates in the Western EIM with the necessary resources and enhance real-time energy market models to provide better operational coordination among balancing authority areas in the Western EIM.

These items will be on the CAISO Board of Governors’ next meeting agenda.

Additionally, the Western EIM Governing Body provided, in its advisory capacity, support for a market-pricing enhancement for contingency reserves that will strengthen incentives during tight supply conditions.

This item requires the approval of the CAISO Board of Governors, which is scheduled to consider it and other Market Enhancements for Summer 2021 Readiness initiatives later this month.

The Western EIM governing body’s action is the first of several improvements identified by the ISO to be better prepared for summer following the extreme heat event that enveloped California and the West in August 2020.

The final root cause analysis published in January 2021 found that extreme heat, resource adequacy deficiencies, and planning and market processes that were not designed to fully address an extreme heat storm contributed to rotating outages for two days in August 2020.

CAISO President and CEO Elliot Mainzer discussed the grid operator’s plans for this summer in a recent APPA Public Power Now podcast episode.

The Western EIM governing body oversees the Western EIM, an energy market comprised of 11 balancing authorities in eight states.

By 2023, 22 active Western EIM participants will represent over 83 percent of load within the Western Electricity Coordinating Council footprint.