Feb 12 The California Independent System
Operator (ISO) and PacifiCorp have signed an agreement to expand
the ISO's real-time energy imbalance market to take advantage of
PacifiCorp's growing renewable resource base in the Northwest,
officials said Tuesday.
ISO officials said the plan should attract other
participants to the market as well.
"Increased coordination of energy systems in the West is
critical if we are to meet important challenges such as ensuring
reliability, keeping costs down for customers and effectively
integrating renewable resources," Greg Abel, chief executive of
Portland-based PacifiCorp, said in a statement.
Pacificorp, a unit of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co,
operates utilities in California, Oregon, Washington, Utah,
Wyoming and Idaho, and will invest about $2.1 million to set up
Through more frequent dispatch of power generation to match
actual electric demand across a broader geographic region,
officials said the voluntary energy-imbalance market will better
utilize the growing amount of available wind and solar power.
"It allows us to call on each other's flexible resources in
a very dynamic way," Abel said.
More work is needed to quantify financial benefits for
PacifiCorp. "We clearly know there are significant benefits,"
PacifiCorp utilities own 1,000 megawatts of wind generation,
contract with another 900 MW of wind, he said. Another 600 MW of
wind generation is located in PacifiCorp's two balancing
authorities. PacifiCorp will not join the ISO.
California's ISO plans to implement the expanded imbalance
market by October 2014.
The savings will also help California customers, said Steve
Berberich, president of the ISO which dispatches power to serve
about 40 percent of the load across the 14-state western power
Due to the diverse nature of generation and utility
ownership across the West, numerous attempts to coordinate grid
activity and transmission planning in the region have met with
limited success or failure.
However, Berberich said market participants have been
talking about and studying a variety of imbalance-market designs
for several years.
"What we're finding is that Pacificorp is an outstanding
partner for us to begin this effort," Berberich said on a call
with reporters. "They provide a good example of value that can
be had for their customers. That same value can be had for the
other players in the West, too."
The memorandum of understanding signed by PacifiCorp and the
ISO is expected to lead to a formal agreement to be considered
by the ISO Board of Governors in March.
MidAmerican is a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway