CAISO: EIM showed $23.6M in benefits for Q2

Dive Brief:

  • The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) reported that the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) yielded $23.6 million in benefits in the second quarter and displaced almost 68,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

  • CAISO said the 25% increase in benefits from the previous quarter was mostly the result of higher seasonal energy demand.

  • CAISO attributed the 67,970 metric tons of CO2 that was displaced to 158,800 MWh of excess renewable energy generated in the spring that otherwise would have been generated by fossil fuel generation.

Dive Insight:

Proponents of plans to unite Western electric operating grids into a single regional market gained an argument in their favor with the release of CAISO latest report on the western EIM.

The report showed a continuing trend of lower CO2 emissions as a result of being able to move renewable generation to where it is needed rather than forcing it to shut down. In the first quarter CAISO said 112,948 MWh of renewable curtailment was avoided.

The results could also bolster the case for uniting the operating grids of the region’s utilities, an effort separate from the EIM and known as regionalization. Regionalization has met with criticism from critics who argue that it could increase fossil fuel generation in the region.

“The EIM continues to prove that consolidating the real-time energy market across the western region can save money while having positive impacts on the environment,” Steve Berberich, CAISO’s president and CEO said in a statement.

CAISO argues that the more efficient use of resources across a wider geographic area reduces the need to curtail renewable resources because excess energy in one area can be used to serve demand in another region.

“As we add participants, we expect these benefits will continue to show positive results,” Berberich said.

In addition to California, the western EIM, which began operation in 2014, currently has operations in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

CAISO says Puget Sound Energy in Washington and Arizona Public Service are in the final talks about joining the EIM in October 2016. Portland General Electric is expected to begin participating in October 2017, and Idaho Power in April 2018.

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Filed Under: Transmission & Distribution Solar & Renewables Regulation & Policy
Top image credit: California ISO