WAPA is committed to continuing market-related conversations with customers. Exploring market options ensures WAPA continues to reliably deliver hydropower to its diverse customer base and seek solutions that help us adapt to the changes in the energy landscape.
One market-related service WAPA and many of its customers are looking at is energy imbalance.
On Nov. 12, 2020, WAPA announced it would be exploring Southwest Power Pool Regional Transmission Organization membership for Loveland Area Projects and Upper Great Plains - West. Learn more about this effort at the Key Topics webpage.
WAPA and Markets monthly newsletter
Keep up to date on the latest activities surrounding energy imbalance at WAPA with this newsletter.
TAILORED APPROACH TO REGIONAL NEEDS
In order to best meet the unique and specific needs of each WAPA region and its customers, WAPA has embarked on three distinct energy imbalance efforts. Links to regional efforts are below.
Energy imbalance management decisions
In the first half of September 2019, WAPA made a number of announcements regarding energy imbalance management:
- On Sept. 4, Sierra Nevada announced its intent to move forward with joining the California Independent System Operator's Western Energy Imbalance Market along with several members of the Balancing Area of Northern California. Learn more about the decision at the SN Energy Imbalance Activities webpage.
- On Sept. 9, WAPA's Colorado River Storage Project and Rocky Mountain and Upper Great Plains regions announced their intent to move forward with participation in Southwest Power Pool's Western Energy Imbalance Service.
- WAPA's Desert Southwest region will study both CAISO's Western EIM and SPP's WEIS with its customers over the next year. Updates on those activities are available at the DSW Energy Imbalance Activities webpage.
WHY IS WAPA CONSIDERING ENERGY IMBALANCE MANAGEMENT ALTERNATIVES?
The primary reasons WAPA is exploring energy imbalance management alternatives are to:
- Ensure reliable delivery of our hydropower while adjusting to a changing energy mix
- Respond to customer feedback requesting WAPA to lead organized market discussions
- Address WAPA balancing authority constraints
- Facilitate integration of variable resources
- Enable participants who want to optimize their resources
It is important to note that an energy imbalance market is different than membership in a regional transmission organization. WAPA has been a member of SPP's RTO for its Upper Great Plains region since 2015. However, in evaluating energy imbalance management alternatives, WAPA preserves its autonomy and retains its authority over transmission planning, day-ahead marketing, and transmission system and balancing authority operations.
WHAT IS ENERGY IMBALANCE?
Supply and demand must always be in balance. Utilities plan a day ahead for the energy they will need tomorrow, but then there is the difference—or an imbalance—between what was scheduled and what is needed in real-time to meet actual energy demand.
WAPA's balancing authorities already manage energy imbalance from its operations centers. However, WAPA is looking at energy imbalance management alternatives to improve its ability to meet this need for itself and customers.
Participating in an energy imbalance market or service means WAPA would buy and sell energy in a real-time market, dispatching at sub-hourly increments, using the lowest cost resources subject to available transmission capacity. This builds on the bilateral market WAPA operates in today.
*Note: The following links are to energy imbalance services provided by other entities.
Background: Market conversations – WAPA and customers
WAPA and customers have been discussing markets for decades. WAPA has also held several all-customer market-related events. Catch up on some of the more recent conversations, here:
WAPA and other utilities also participated in the
Mountain West Transmission Group
to evaluate a range of options ranging from a common transmission tariff to regional transmission organization membership. The initiative ended in 2018.
Rodney Bailey, WAPA's Power Marketing Advisor
Vice Presidents of Power Marketing: