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Energy Imbalance Markets/Services

marketsmap.pngWAPA 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 today is energy imbalance.

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 the real-time energy needed to meet the demand in the moment.

WAPA, in its balancing authority role, already manages energy imbalances in its operations centers. However, WAPA is looking at energy imbalance markets as an option for improving 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 based on available transmission capacity. This also builds on the bilateral market WAPA operates in today.

Why energy imbalance markets?

The primary reasons WAPA is exploring energy imbalance market options 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 limitations
  • 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 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 services, WAPA preserves its autonomy and retains its authority over transmission planning, day-ahead marketing, and transmission system and balancing authority operations.

Tailored approach to regional needs

WAPA continues to engage with customers, and seek input regarding markets and energy imbalance options.  Please contact your local WAPA VP of Power Marketing for upcoming customer meeting dates or for more information about market-related activities.

As regional-based activities arise, you can find specific local energy imbalance information below:

  • Colorado River Storage Project Management Center and Rocky Mountain energy imbalance activities
    • June 26 in Loveland, Colorado (Topic discussed during customer meeting)

  • Desert Southwest energy imbalance activities
    • July 15, in Phoenix, Arizona (Topic will be discussed during the customer meeting)

EIM Resources*

*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:


Rodney Bailey, WAPA's Power Marketing Advisor


Vice Presidents of Power Marketing:

Page Last Updated: 7/10/2019 12:54 PM