On March 5, 2015, Puget Sound Energy (“PSE”) announced that it will be participating in the Energy Imbalance Market (“EIM”) operated by the California Independent System (“CAISO”) as of Oct. 1, 2016. PSE will be joining PacifiCorp and NV Energy, both already working with the CAISO on EIM integration. By the end of the year the EIM is slated to include seven western states: California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.
PSE states that according to a benefits study performed by consultants, PSE’s customers could save between $18 million to $30 million a year through participating in the EIM. According to PSE, the benefits to the EIM include:
- Efficient dispatch of PSE’s generating resources resulting in lower energy costs for customers;
- Enhanced system reliability;
- Promotion of the integration of variable energy resources, such as wind and solar;
- Leveraging of geographic diversity of generating resources and electricity demand; and
- Provision of a new, voluntary energy market that complements existing PSE operations.
PSE also participates in the Northwest Power Pool’s Market and Coordination Committee Initiative which is currently exploring a similar model for energy imbalance that would be based in the Northwest. PSE clarifies that it intends to continue this participation, explaining that it has “elected to take a ‘dual path’ approach and participate in [CAISO’s] EIM to generate economic and reliability benefits for PSE customers as quickly as possible, as well as continue to support development of the Northwest initiative.”