Powering Strong Communities

Western Power Providers Announce Plans to Explore Market Options

Several electric providers in the Western U.S. announced plans on Oct. 5 to evaluate regional market solutions together. The group includes Platte River Power Authority (Fort Collins, Colo.), Salt River Project (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Seattle City Light (Wash.).

Members of the informal Western Markets Exploratory Group (WMEG) are exploring the potential for a staged approach to new market services, including day-ahead energy sales, transmission system expansion, and other power supply and grid solutions consistent with existing state regulations.

“The group hopes to identify market solutions that can help achieve carbon reduction goals while supporting reliable, affordable service for customers,” a news release related to the group said.

The group, which began discussions this summer, includes Xcel Energy-Colorado, Arizona Public Service, South Dakota’s Black Hills Energy, Idaho Power, Nevada-based NV Energy, Inc., Oregon-based PacifiCorp, Platte River Power Authority, Oregon’s Portland General Electric, Washington State’s Puget Sound Energy, Arizona’s Salt River Project, Seattle City Light, and Arizona-based Tucson Electric Power.

Discussions are in the early stages and are focused on developing long-term solutions to improve market efficiencies in the West. That includes incorporating lessons learned from existing regional markets as well as other efforts across the West.

Many of the companies in the group are currently participating in or preparing to join the California Independent System Operator’s Western Energy Imbalance Market, or have announced plans to evaluate energy imbalance services.

WMEG’s discussions will not impact participation in or evaluation of those markets in the short-term, as the group is focused on long-term market solutions, the news release said.