Western EIM Entities Garner Huge Benefits

As we have stepped into 2018, it becomes vital to analyze the year-end reporting of 2017 from Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) entities. The Western EIM Benefits Report for the fourth quarter of 2017 highlights the benefits associated with participation in the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM). The benefits include cost savings and the utilization of surplus renewable energy instead of conventional generating resources. In Q4, the EIM utilized 18,060 MWh of surplus renewable energy and displaced 7,730 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

The estimated gross benefits for the fourth quarter of 2017 (October, November, and December) were $33.46 million. This brought the total benefits of the EIM to $288.44 million since the expansion of the CAISO (California Independent System Operator) real-time market to balancing authority areas outside of the ISO in November 2014.

The benefits quantified in this report fall into three categories:

  • More efficient dispatch, both inter-and intra-regional, in the Fifteen-Minute Market (FMM) and Real-Time Dispatch (RTD). Q4 estimated savings = $33.46 million.


  • Reduced renewable energy curtailment. Q4 estimated reduction = 18,060 MWh displacing approximately 7,730 metric tons of CO2.


  • Reduced flexibility ramping reserves needed in all balancing authority areas. Q4 reduction = 418 MW – 432 MW in the upward direction and 504 MW – 543 MW in  the downward direction.

On November 1, 2014, the EIM began financially binding operations by optimizing resources across the ISO and PacifiCorp BAAs. NV Energy, supported by OATI Western EIM software solution, began participating in December 2015 while Portland General Electric (PGE) also supported OATI Western EIM software solution began participating on October 1, 2017. Both NV Energy and PGE were included in the benefits analysis for Q4 2017.

PGE EIM Benefits in Q4 2017

One significant aspect of the Q4 2017 report is that PGE recorded benefits for the first time since its entry towards the end of 2017. According this report, PGE EIM Benefits Report were $0.99 million for October, $0.85 million for November, and $0.99 million for December with gross total benefits of $2.83 million. 

NV Energy EIM Benefits in Q4 2017

NV Energy reported EIM benefits of $2.63 million for October, $2.96 million for November, and $0.86 million for December. The total estimated benefits were reported for NV Energy were $23.12 million. Collectively, both NV Energy and PGE have reported benefits of $25.95 million in 2017 which is quite high when compared with past couple of years.
Summing Up
Participation in the Western EIM continues to show that utilities can realize cost benefits and reduced carbon emissions. With $288.44 million in gross benefits to date, the realized savings are in line with the analysis conducted by each EIM entity before they joined EIM. Both NV Energy and PGE, current users of OATI webEIM, have continued to exceed their business goals and enjoyed the results. OATI webEIM — an Energy Market Management (EMM) software system — incorporates all critical functionalities and provides operational control to entities looking to join an energy imbalance market. OATI webEIM also provides flexibility with powerful calculation and integrated shadow settlement capabilities through a streamlined delivery of detailed position reporting, comprehensive data interfaces, process automation, reporting, etc. To learn more about OATI webEIM, visit Mehdi Assadian’s Western EIM blog posts.