Arizona’s SRP to join Western Energy Imbalance Market
The growth of the Western EIM is saving utilities money, while also helping to avoid curtailing renewable energy by automatically finding the lowest-cost energy to serve real-time consumer demands. The market allows utilities to buy and sell power more efficiently in the hour before the energy is needed, with five-minute plant dispatching.
“The EIM produces efficient use of resources and lower costs of energy for participating utilities,” California ISO Steve Berberich said in a statement.
In addition, the market is helping find a home for renewable megawatts that might otherwise have been curtailed. The California ISO curtailed about 80,000 MWh in March, up from 47,000 MWh in March 2016, but a recent report concluded that the EIM helped minimize it.
“If not for energy transfers facilitated by the EIM, some renewable generation located within the ISO would have been curtailed via either economic or exceptional dispatch,” the report found. The ISO estimated total avoided renewable curtailments were 6,204 MWh in October, 8,500 MWh in November, and 8,686 MWh in December.
The geographic scope of the market has grown as West Coast and Southwestern utilities have joined: PacifiCorp in Oregon, NV Energy of Las Vegas, Washington’s Puget Sound Energy, and another Arizona utility, Arizona Public Service Co.