A group of western utility executives, transmission officials, and regulatory analysts are convening in Portland, Oregon next week to discuss the creation of a western Energy Imbalance Market (“EIM”).  The EIM is part of an Efficient Dispatch Toolkit (“EDT”) proposed by a WECC subcommittee and the Western Interstate Energy Board (“WIEB”) that would include: (1) the EIM to supply energy imbalance service and congestion management, and (2) an Enhanced Curtailment Calculator (“ECC”) to manage power flow impacts across Balancing Authority (“BA”) seams.  As a point of reference, the Southwestern Power Pool launched a similar “Energy Imbalance Service” in 2007.


Why:  Renewable energy capacity in the West is expected to grow from roughly 13,000 MW today to 70,000 MW by 2020 as the result of state renewable energy requirements.  Current energy balancing practices are insufficient to meet the challenges of the anticipated variable generation increases in the Western Interconnection, according to a white paper prepared by WIEB staff.  Current bilateral transmission and scheduling practices do not, for instance, make use of remote balancing resources in the Western Interconnection and the EIM could help make more efficient use of generating resources located throughout its footprint.Continue Reading Parties convene in Portland to discuss the creation of an Energy Imbalance Market

On July 28, 2010, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (the "Commission") issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NOPR") regarding rules related to electric transmission facilities planning (the "Proposed Rules").  The Proposed Rules are based, in large part, on the input provided by all interested parties in the workshops and written comments in connection with Docket Nos. 08I-227E and 09M-616E and in response to certain legislative and policy changes impacting transmission planning significantly.  In response to these legislative and policy changes, some of the key issues that need to be addressed in transmission planning include transmission-related challenges to satisfying State of Colorado’s renewable energy portfolio standard for electricity generation, distributed generation set-asides, and requirements that the Commission give the fullest possible consideration to cost-effective implementation of new clean energy and energy efficient technologies.  In implementing the Proposed Rules, the Commission recognizes that "both state-wide coordinated transmission planning and a meaningful involvement in such planning by stakeholders and the Commission are essential."  NOPR at 2-3.  In addition, the Commission concluded that "an effective transmission planning approach needs to be long-term and pro-active rather than just-in-time and reactive."

Under the Proposed Rules, the Commission will rely on the Colorado Coordinated Planning Group ("CCPG") as the primary means by which jurisdictional electric utilities will develop the ten-year transmission plans and the twenty-year conceptual plans contemplated under the rules, in consultation with other CCPG members and stakeholders.  Overall, the Proposed Rules set forth the general objectives associated with the biennial filing of the following:  Continue Reading Colorado Public Utilities Commission Proposes New Rules Governing Transmission Planning