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.