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Portland General Electric : formalizes agreement to join EIM

11/23/2015 | 05:32pm US/Eastern

Nov. 23, 2015

Portland General Electric formalizes agreement to join EIM
PGE, ISO agreement starts process for 2017 market entry

Folsom, Calif./Portland, Ore. - Portland General Electric Company (PGE) and the California Independent System Operator (ISO) announced today they have filed an implementation agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, paving the way for the Portland, Ore.-based utility to participate in the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) starting in October 2017.

PGE recently filed an assessment (PDF) by Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. with the Oregon Public Utility Commission, showing potential cost savings and efficiency gains for PGE and its customers from EIM participation and pooling of flexible reserves among EIM participants.

The western EIM is a real-time energy wholesale market that automatically dispatches the lowest-cost electricity resources available to meet utility customer needs while optimizing use of renewable energy over a large geographic area.

'PGE has been working since 2013 to prepare our grid systems to effectively manage variable energy resources and participate fully in a real-time market, such as the western EIM,' said PGE President and CEO Jim Piro. 'We have looked carefully at the alternatives and believe the western EIM provides the best all-around strategy currently available to us for capturing the greatest benefit for our customers.'

PGE is the most recent utility to announce participation in the western EIM. Phoenix-based Arizona Public Service and Puget Sound Energy are set to enter the market in 2016. Nevada-based NV Energy will begin participating on December 1, 2015.

'The first year of EIM has been very successful and produced significant cost savings,' said Steve Berberich, ISO president and CEO. 'With additional participants, we envision even lower generation costs and more efficient use of clean energy resources. We are pleased that PGE wants to share in those benefits.'

The PGE benefits analysis found that the western EIM will provide PGE access to a larger and more diverse resource mix, including the region's growing renewables portfolio. The EIM balances supply and demand every 15 and five minutes with the most cost-efficient resource to serve consumer demand. It also responds to variable renewable energy production by optimizing the grid across the entire footprint of the EIM market. Utilities participating in the real-time market share generation resources, which significantly lowers the cost of producing and supplying power.

The ISO and PacifiCorp launched the western EIM on Nov. 1, 2014. Currently, the EIM automatically dispatches least-cost energy in real time in California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

For more information on EIM, visit the ISO Energy Imbalance Market overview webpage.

# # #

About Portland General Electric Company: Portland General Electric, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a fully integrated electric utility that serves approximately 836,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon.

Source: Portland General Electric Company

For more information, contact:
Steve Corson, PGE, 503-464-8444

Steven Greenlee, ISO, 916 608-7170

Oscar Hidalgo, ISO, 916 608-5834

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