- Public Service Co. of New Mexico (PNM), the largest utility in its state, has applied to join California's Western Energy Imbalance Market beginning 2021, the Associated Press reports.
- If its membership is approved by state regulators, PNM would join several other utilities preparing to enter the market, including Salt River Project, Seattle City Light, and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in 2020. The balancing authority of Northern California and Sacramento Municipal Utility District are set to begin participating in April 2019.
- The California ISO's EIM currently has eight participants serving more than 42 million consumers. The grid operator says the market has generated more than $400 million in benefits for members since it launched in 2014.
California's EIM continues to grow as more utilities look to access financial benefits and emissions reductions provided by trading electricity over a larger footprint in the voluntary market.
Last month, CAISO announced the EIM had posted its highest quarterly benefits yet, topping a total of $400 million since its launch and more than $70 million in just the second quarter for the eight market participants.
According to the ISO, in the second quarter there was "an uptick in energy moving out of California through the EIM, as the system experienced high levels of renewable production at a time in the season when temperatures are still cool and electric demand is moderate."
In the second quarter the market helped reduce carbon emissions in the region by 55,267 metric tons, CAISO said, absorbing 129,128 MWh of excess renewable energy that otherwise would have been curtailed. Since 2015, the EIM has decreased carbon emissions by more than 300,000 metric tons, according to the grid operator.
The market now serves more than 42 million consumers in eight western states. Public Service Co. of New Mexico serves more than a half million customers.
Idaho Power and Powerex of British Columbia were the most recent to join the market, which can now serve about 55% of the energy imbalances that occur in the Western Interconnection.