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California ISO agrees to let Salt River Project into western energy market

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The California ISO said that it and Salt River Project have signed an agreement for SRP to participate in the western Energy Imbalance Market beginning in April 2020.

It is estimated that SRP—a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility, and the largest electricity provider in the greater Phoenix area—can save up to $4.5 million annually by participating in the EIM, the California ISO said.

The western EIM’s advanced market systems automatically find the lowest-cost energy to serve real-time consumer demands of participating utilities, California ISO said. That market enables utilities to buy and sell power more efficiently in the hour before the energy is needed, with five-minute plant dispatching, which result in improved efficiencies and cost savings, the California ISO said.

According to the implementation agreement with SRP, which the California ISO said it will file with FERC, SRP is to pay the California ISO a fixed fee of $910,000 for costs incurred by the California ISO to configure its systems to incorporate SRP into the EIM, subject to completion of certain milestones.

Current western EIM participants have realized savings totaling nearly $142m since the wholesale market was launched in November 2014, the California ISO said in its statement, adding that utilities now active in the western EIM include PacifiCorp, NV Energy, Puget Sound Energy, and Arizona Public Service.

Other utilities that have formally agreed to join the EIM include Portland General Electric beginning on Oct. 1; Idaho Power on April 1, 2018; as well as Seattle City Light and Balancing Area of Northern California/Sacramento Municipal Utility District on April 1, 2019, the California ISO said.

In a letter order that is dated March 14 and posted on the California ISO’s website, FERC accepted the EIM implementation agreement involving Seattle City Light.

As noted in that letter order, the California ISO in late January submitted the implementation agreement with The City of Seattle, by and through its City Light Department (Seattle City Light), setting forth the terms under which the California ISO will extend its real-time energy market systems to provide imbalance energy service to Seattle City Light under the California ISO’s EIM tariff provisions.

According to that implementation agreement, Seattle City Light will pay a fixed implementation fee of $310,000, subject to completion of six milestones, for recovery of the portion of the costs attributable to the California ISO’s effort to configure its real-time market systems and incorporate Seattle City Light into the EIM. FERC’s letter order said, “The implementation agreement is accepted for filing, effective April 1, 2017, as requested.”