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Four Colorado utilities to join the West’s real-time energy market

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has signed an implementation agreement with XcelEnergy-Colorado paving the way for its participation in the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) in 2022. The agreement also provides for participation of the other Joint Dispatch Agreement (JDA) members: Black Hills Energy Colorado Electric, Colorado Springs Utilities, and Platte River Power Authority.

“The addition of these Colorado utilities to a growing west wide market will benefit all of the participants and their customers,” said ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich. “We are pleased the Xcel Energy -Colorado and itsother JDA partners have confidence in the market which shares carbon-free energy resources,market efficiency and enhanced reliability.”

“We are excited to take the next step in joining the Western Energy Imbalance Market,” said Alice Jackson, president of Xcel Energy-Colorado. “Participating in this market will support our efforts to keep customer bills low while providing them with more 100% carbon-free energy from wind and solar resources. That’s both a win for the environment and another way we can help the State of Colorado meet its clean energy goals.”

Xcel Energy-Colorado’s implementation agreement with the ISO will support the four utilities as they transition from the JDA to participation in the Western EIM. During the transition, the ISO will work with the JDA partners to provide resource schedules, load forecasts, and outage reporting directly to the ISO. Additionally, settlement documentation for each of the entities load and resources will be developed by the ISO for each of the JDA partners. While developing the details of the working relationship for Xcel Energy–Colorado and the other three JDA parties, the ISO plans to conduct a stakeholder process to develop the tariff modifications to make these provisions available to other entities.

Since its launch five years ago, the Western EIM has provided $919.79million in gross benefits to its participants. Because of the regional cooperation, consumers in the Western EIM have used 1,098,890MWh of renewable energy, which is equivalent to the annual electric use of 140,000 homes in California.

And due to the increased carbon-free energy consumption, CO2 emissions were reduced by 470,245 metric tons, or the equivalent of 98,867 passenger cars. With the addition of Xcel Energy-Colorado, the Western EIM will consist of 21 balancing areas and represent 82 percent of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s (WECC) total load by 2022.

The Western EIM’s active participants include the ISO, PacifiCorp, NV Energy, Arizona Public Service, Puget Sound Energy, Portland General Electric, Idaho Power, Powerex, Balancing Authority of Northern California (BANC) Phase 1, Seattle City Light and Salt River Project.Over the next two years, the Western EIM’s expansion will continue,with the addition of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, NorthWestern Energy, Turlock Irrigation District, Public Service Company of New Mexico, and BANC Phase 2 in 2021; and Tucson Electric Power, Avista, Tacoma Power, Bonneville Power Administration, and Xcel Energy-Colorado in 2022.

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This article was released by California ISO.