Monday, February 22, 2016

USA: A Western Region Energy Market Would Take Full Advantage of Region’s Renewable Resources

Taming the Wild West: CAISO begins study of a full regional electricity market (Utility Dive)

The grid operator will seek to understand how a regional system will affect the state's transition to 50% renewables by 2030

California's electric system operator (CAISO) is studying the possibility of turning the entire West into a single electricity market.

It's the beginning of a process that could eventually turn as many as 38 individual balancing authority areas (BAAs) into a market richer in resources than the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) or the PJM Interconnection. But first, crucial questions need to be answered about who will pay, who will benefit, and what kinds of energy the system will carry.

A Western region energy market would use the same CAISO technology to “coordinate electricity systems across the West” and “take full advantage of the region’s renewable resources,” according to the CAISO’s summary of benefits. It would also create “disincentives to send coal-generated energy to California.”

A regional market will allow system operators to do more advanced planning and give them increased situational awareness that will lead to lower cost power purchasing, it adds.

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