Four Colorado utilities to join Western Energy Imbalance Market

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has signed an implementation agreement with Xcel Energy — Colorado, paving the way for the company’s participation in the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) in 2022.

The agreement also provides participation for other Joint Dispatch Agreement (JDA) members: Black Hills Energy Colorado Electric, Colorado Springs Utilities and Platte River Power Authority.

The agreement will support the above utilities as they transition from the JDA to the Western EIM. The ISO will work with the partners to provide resource schedules, load forecasts and outage reporting.

Additionally, the ISO will develop settlement documentation for each of the entities’ load and resources. The ISO plans to conduct a stakeholder process to develop the tariff modifications for the provisions to be available to other entities as well.

Since its launch five years ago, the Western EIM has provided an estimated $919.79 million in gross benefits to its participants and has used 1,098,890 MWh of renewable energy. CO2 emissions were also reduced by 470,245 metric tons, according to the company.

“The addition of these Colorado utilities to a growing west wide market will benefit all of the participants and their customers,” said ISO President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Berberich. “We are pleased the Xcel Energy — Colorado and its other JDA partners have confidence in the market which shares carbon-free energy resources, market efficiency and enhanced reliability.”

Alice Jackson, president of Xcel Energy — Colorado said, “Participating in this market will support our efforts to keep customer bills low while providing them with more 100% carbon-free energy from wind and solar resources.”

Xcel Energy provides electricity in eight states (Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin) from a mix of biomass, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind and solar facilities, along with coal and natural gas. Nearly 40% of the electricity Xcel Energy produced in 2018 came from carbon-free sources. The company’s total generating capacity exceeds 18,000 MW, and its hydro portfolio is 26 plants with a capacity of 610 MW. With the addition of Xcel Energy – Colorado, the Western EIM will consist of 21 balancing areas and represent 82 percent of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s (WECC) total load by 2022. The Western EIM’s active participants include the ISO, PacifiCorp, NV Energy, Arizona Public Service, Puget Sound Energy, Portland General Electric, Idaho Power, Powerex, Balancing Authority of Northern California (BANC) Phase 1, Seattle City Light and Salt River Project.

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