LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Western Area Power Administration facilitated robust collaborative conversations in its third customer “Markets in the West Workshop” April 9-10 in Phoenix, Arizona.
During the workshop, more than 80 participants leaned in to talk about concerns and objectives to address the changing landscape of the Western Interconnection.
“At our annual customer meeting in December, we received multiple requests to have more conversations about markets,” said WAPA Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel. “Everywhere we look, the industry is undergoing significant changes—changes that will create a grid that is smarter, more complex and more integrated than ever before. This workshop was an opportunity for us to look into the crystal ball together, to share our thoughts and talk collaboratively about the common objectives and goals we share for the future.”
Participating customers represented the wide breadth of experience, perspective and local needs that exists across WAPA’s 15-state, 1.3 million square-mile service territory.
“This workshop was an opportunity for customers to learn from each other and openly discuss and debate about the best future for WAPA and our customers,” said WAPA Power Marketing Advisor Rodney Bailey, who led the workshop. “There were no predetermined solutions going in to the workshop, and that is still true.”
from the event were made available as soon as possible so representatives can go back to their organizations and share what they discussed.
Initial lessons from the event included:
- Entities in the West have experience working on markets for more than 20 years; we need to get markets done.
- Lots of opportunities and risks exist.
- We need to stay focused on the goal: continue exploring markets together and leveraging commonalities.
- Need to be at the table early to help with market design.
Participants provided feedback on the value of this workshop. It was helpful in:
- Bringing customers together.
- Sharing diverse perspectives.
- Clarifying where we are collectively.
- Gaining insight on the urgency to discuss future markets.
WAPA also heard requests to:
- Help educate customers more about markets.
- Involve regional groups in more workshops.
WAPA last hosted a customer discussion on markets in June 2016. For more information about the Markets in the West Workshop and to see the materials, visit the Markets in the West Workshop webpage
on wapa.gov, The Source.
A customer participating in the wrap up conversation, April 10, shares insights she
gained from the “Markets in the West Workshop" (Photo by Jen Neville). See more
About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable power from 57 federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at www.wapa.gov.