Avista Corp., other Northwest utilities and a power trader have joined the Bonneville Power Administration in committing to the next phase of the Southwest Power Pool’s effort to develop a regional power market in the West, the grid operator said Monday.
Avista, Chelan County Public Utility District, Grant County Public Utility District, Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Power and Powerex Corp., the power trading arm of BC Hydro, “declared their intent to work with SPP” to develop the grid operator’s Markets+ proposal, SPP said. Bonneville said in a letter to SPP earlier this month it would help fund the next phase of the Markets+ effort, but it hadn’t made a final decision to participate.
SPP plans to release a draft market proposal on Sept. 30 for public comments, with the final service offering set to be issued in mid-November. Interested parties will commit to funding further market development early next year, according to SPP.
SPP and the California Independent System Operator are both developing day-ahead markets for Western utilities that would build on energy imbalance markets, which utilities use to balance real-time shifts in electric supply and demand.
SPP’s Markets+, which has been under development since late last year, would centralize day-ahead and real-time unit commitment and dispatch, provide “hurdle-free” transmission service across its footprint and help integrate renewable generation into the electric system, according to the grid operator.
The planned market would offer utilities that don’t want to join a regional transmission organization a voluntary, incremental path to realizing significant benefits, SPP said.
The seven entities interested in Markets+ make up a well-connected footprint with extensive transmission capability and have a peak load of more than 30,000 MW, according to the grid operator, which manages the power system across 17 Central and Western states.
In its letter to SPP, Bonneville said independent governance is a key aspect of any future market.
“While some aspects of the Markets+ governance proposal can be improved upon, Bonneville is encouraged by the representative nature of SPP's existing governing structure and its participant-driven process,” the federal power marketer said.
Bonneville said it supports the Markets+ governance proposal, which includes an independent, West-wide panel.
“Bonneville is also encouraged by SPP's track record of accommodating the unique characteristics and statutory requirements of the Western Area Power Administration in its other markets and SPP's long history of working with public power in its Eastern region,” the power marketer said.
Bonneville is continuing to participate in CAISO’s development of an extended day-ahead market so it can assess both market opportunities, according to the letter.
CAISO aims to issue a final EDAM proposal on Dec. 7 and brief its board and the Western Energy Imbalance Market’s governing body on the effort a week later. The grid operator manages the Western EIM, which has grown to include 18 market participants since it was started in 2014.