VX2016: The Changing Face of the Western Grid - EIM and Regional Power Markets

Bob Foster, former Chair, California ISO

Jonathan Weisgall, Vice President, Government Relations, Berkshire Hathaway
Steve Berberich, President and CEO, California ISO
Walter Spansel, Vice President, NV Energy
Ruth Cox, Vice President of Power Marketing, Centauri Energy

One of the more interesting energy market developments of the decade, the Energy Imbalance Market, extends the CAISO real-time electricity market to other balancing authorities in the west. In simplest terms, bigger and more diverse electricity markets give more opportunities to balance demand and supply efficiently — simply because bigger markets have more diversity in weather, renewable generation patterns, even different time zones that impact when peaks hit the grid. For instance, resources such as wind and solar power fluctuate depending on the weather, which can be calm and sunny in one area, and cloudy and windy in another. By capturing a wider portfolio of resources, an EIM optimizes available regional resources to ensure electricity can be dispatched where and when it is needed. That should reduce costs and enhance reliability. How will the EIM unfold for California and the Southwest? What have we learned so far? And will customers really see tangible benefits?  How does this concept grow in the future? Will we – or should we – see an interconnected national electricity market someday?


The Changing Face of the Western Grid