BPA signs agreement to enter Western Energy Imbalance Market

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) reports that the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has signed an implementation agreement to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).

Under the agreement, BPA will join the Western EIM in 2022.

“We see BPA’s participation in the Western EIM as the natural next step in a collaborative partnership that began many years ago to optimize transmission connections and boost reliability throughout the West,” said ISO President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Berberich. “BPA will provide exceptional benefits to the real-time energy market, as it leverages its robust and regionally strategic transmission system and energy resources.”

BPA signed the implementation agreement Sept. 26 after more than a year of study and stakeholder engagement to evaluate the benefits of joining the Western EIM. BPA announced its intent to explore joining earlier this year, as part of a strategy to control energy costs and give the company a competitive edge in the electric industry.

The Western EIM uses state-of-the-art technology to find and deliver low-cost energy to meet real-time energy demand across eight western states while providing regional environmental benefits by integrating increasing amounts of renewable energy. Since its launch in 2014, the Western EIM has enhanced grid reliability while generating $736 million in gross benefits to its nine participating entities and reducing 403,546 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the region.

Current Western EIM participants include the ISO and PacifiCorp, NV Energy, Arizona Public Service, Puget Sound Energy, Portland General Electric, Idaho Power, Powerex, and BANC Phase 1.

The Western EIM is slated to expand with the participation of Salt River Project and Seattle City Light in 2020; Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, NorthWestern Energy, Turlock Irrigation District, Public Service Company of New Mexico and BANC Phase 2 in 2021; and Tucson Electric Power, Avista and Tacoma Power in 2022.

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