Portland General Electric joins California power trading market
- Portland General Electric officially connected to the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) managed by the California ISO on Oct. 1, making it the fifth western utility outside California to participate, according to a release.
- PGE and CAISO agreed in 2015 to integrate the utility's system into the EIM, which allows real-time power trading to source the lowest price power resources for customers and optimize the use of renewable energy. PGE joins Arizona Public Service, Puget Sound Energy, NV Energy and PacifiCorp as a non-California EIM participant.
- The EIM expansion comes after California lawmakers failed to pass a bill last month that would have restarted the process at CAISO to expand its jurisdiction to areas outside the state.
Expansion of CAISO may be on hold, but its EIM keeps growing, adding its fifth utility member outside of California this week.
On Sunday, PGE began operations in the EIM, which allows utilities to source least-cost generation from around the market through real-time trading every five minutes.
Involvement will help EIM participants "maximize the use of renewable resources, by making it easier to take immediate advantage of available wind and solar generation anywhere in the system while efficiently integrating their variable output with other, dispatchable resources," the utility said in a release.
The EIM is helping California utilities as well by offering a larger market for daytime solar power, which can push CAISO prices into negative territory during periods of high generation and low power demand.
CAISO and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) would like to expand the ISO's jurisdiction to cover the EIM participants, but so far jurisdictional issues have prevented implementation. Bills to reopen the expansion proposal at CAISO failed this year, but backers say they will try again in 2018.
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