California Independent System Operator opens market doors to four Colorado utilities

Published on May 28, 2020 by Chris Galford

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Colorado utilities are set to tap into the western energy market thanks to an implementation agreement signed between the California Independent System Operator (ISO) and Xcel Energy – Colorado.

Those who stand to benefit are members of the Joint Dispatch Agreement: Black Hills Energy Colorado Electric, Colorado Springs Utilities, and Platte River Power Authority. Both they and Xcel will be allowed into the Western Energy Imbalance Market as of 2022, following efforts to compose resource schedules, load forecasts, and outage reporting to the ISO.

“The addition of these Colorado utilities to a growing west wide market will benefit all of the participants and their customers,” ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich said. “We are pleased the Xcel Energy -Colorado and its other JDA partners have confidence in the market which shares carbon-free energy resources, market efficiency, and enhanced reliability.”

The Western EIM has been operating for the last five years as a market of regional cooperation. With the addition of Xcel, it will be composed of 21 balancing areas representing 82 percent of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s total load by 2022.

Going forward, the ISO will develop settlement documentation for each of its new partners, covering load and resources. It will also conduct a stakeholder process to develop tariff modifications that will make such provisions available to other entities. Additionally, the Western EIM plans to continue expanding — five more entities will join next year alone.