California regional market records increase in energy savings


In a press statement, the energy distribution system operator said its Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) delivered 33,094MWh of electricity generated from renewable energy sources during the third quarter of 2016.

EIM’s advanced market systems automatically find the lowest-cost energy to serve real-time consumer demand across a wide geographic area. Offered in 2014 to western utilities in 14 states, it helps reduce carbon emissions by facilitating the efficient connection of renewable resources and enhancing grid resiliency. The EIM also enables grid operators to use low cost excess renewable energy that avoids having to turn off those resources to protect grid reliability, and supports clean energy policies.

The development has resulted in the avoidance of 14,164 metric tonnes of carbon emissions during the period.

In total, since the launch of the EIM in 2014, consumers under grid networks participating in the regional energy market saved $114.35 million in energy bills.

The EIM is an electricity transmission and distribution network which connects grid networks in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada.

The system uses a demand response technology to detect an electricity network with excess and low costs energy generated from renewable sources and direct the low-cost energy to consumers in other grid networks.

Steve Berberich, CEO of ISO, said: “Besides enhancing grid reliability… EIM enables the achievement of clean air goals across the region. The benefits will grow as more utilities elect to participate in the EIM.”

[quote] The system helps electric utilities to reduce their operational costs by avoiding investing in new renewable energy generation and energy storage systems as the market will provide their consumers with ready available and affordable renewable energy.

Of the utilities currently registered under the EIM, a majority have recorded significant savings since their entry into the market.

For instance, NV Energy recorded savings of up to $5.6 million whilst PacifiCorp achieved $15.12 million in savings during the third quarter of 2016.

Utilities including the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the El Centro Nacional de Control de Energia have announced their plans to enter the market in October 2017 and April 2018 respectively.

Energy market and renewable energy integration

In late September, the US Department of Energy (DoE) announced the successful completion of its smart energy project deployed by the California ISO.

The smart energy project included the use of smart grid technologies to simplify grid-solar integration to ensure grid reliability and that energy prices remain low.

The $799,970 project began in 2013 and was facilitated by a consortium of companies including energy consulting firm AWS TruePower, the Pacific NorthWest National Laboratory, Siemens SmartGrid and Southern California Edison.

The consortium ensured that conventional energy sources weren’t used as power reserves to support the grid. [Oregon utility automates regional power trading].

The integrated tools included advanced probabilistic solar power forecasts, new uncertainty quantification methods, and flexible ramping algorithms in the unit commitment and dispatch processes.


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