Western transmission owners mull organized market as alternative to CAISO
The Western Area Balancing Authority spans 15 states with more than 17,000 miles of transmission line, making its inclusion in the fledgling Mountain West Transmission Group a big draw for other potential participants.
According to RTO Insider, UAMPS CEO Doug Hunter told Utah lawmakers at a hearing earlier this month that the California ISO “is not the only game in town. … It would be much better if the entire West had access to it.”
Mountain West has queried several regional markets, including California, MISO and PJM, for information on tariffs.
California, meanwhile, is moving ahead to grow its own territory and seeks to organize 38 independent power providing systems into a Western region grid and market.
Recent analysis shows the expanded market would benefit customers. Berkeley Economic Advising and Research estimated the plan could generate $1 billion to $1.5 billion in annual benefits to California ratepayers. and provide up to 19,400 jobs throughout the West by 2030. Other research from Brattle showed California emissions could be cut 8% to 10% and Western region emissions by 3% to 4% in 2030.