Portland General Electric Joins Western Energy Imbalance Market

By Editors of Power Engineering

Portland General Electric Company has become the fifth western utility to fully participate in the western Energy Imbalance Market. The Oregon utility and the California Independent System Operator completed several weeks of extensive systems testing – the culmination of two years of preparatory work and coordination – and have certified that PGE is ready for financially binding participation in the only multi-state real-time energy market in the West.

The ISO estimates the EIM has produced multiple cost benefits since launching in November 2014 by using the low-cost energy available in the region to meet changes in real-time energy demand. Those savings are projected to increase as more utilities join the market.

“The EIM is stronger with the addition of PGE, and we welcome its participation,” said Steve Berberich, ISO President and CEO. “The real-time energy market supports its participants by offering access to low-cost energy regardless of their location, a tool to help meet clean energy goals and boosts grid reliability — so it is a win-win for everyone, including consumers.”

For more than 125 years, PGE has been serving the greater Portland region that now has nearly 2 million residents.

“To benefit our customers, PGE is working to help build a smarter, cleaner, more resilient energy grid,” said Maria Pope, PGE’s president and incoming CEO. “Joining the EIM is an important milestone in that effort, helping maintain reliability and keep power affordable while making efficient use of carbon-free renewable resources throughout the region.”

PGE joins Arizona Public Service, Puget Sound Energy, NV Energy, PacifiCorp and the ISO, together serving over 38 million consumers in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada.

Future EIM participants include Idaho Power and Canada’s Powerex, which will enter the market in April 2018, followed by Seattle City Light, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and the Balancing Authority of Northern California/Sacramento Municipal Utility District in 2019, and Salt River Project in 2020.