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The California Independent System Operator's (CAISO) board of governors has unanimously agreed to authorize the grid operator to move forward with negotiating a formal agreement with PacifiCorp for a joint real-time energy imbalance market (EIM).

CAISO and PacifiCorp announced the potential EIM partnership last month and said that it would optimize available energy supplies by providing frequent and automatic dispatching that takes into account resources across the entire EIM region. Without an EIM, CAISO adds, only generation assets within each balancing authority can be used to cover short-term gaps in generation resources.

The EIM could become operational in October 2014 and would be facilitated by CAISO. PacifiCorp, which controls two balancing authorities covering portions of six states, is not joining CAISO and would maintain control of its assets and responsibilities for serving its customers.

CAISO says that a recent report on the EIM demonstrates benefits for both parties' customers - the combined savings are estimated to range from $21 million to $129 million by 2017.

“The report shows that an EIM partnership between the ISO and PacifiCorp provides a low-cost, low-risk means of achieving significant benefits for consumers,” says CAISO Board Chair Bob Foster. “I want to thank PacifiCorp for pursuing this regional collaboration with the ISO because the West is more likely to achieve efficient renewable integration by sharing resources and leveraging geographic diversity.”








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