Currently, the four energy companies allocate resources through a common transit agreement and offset peak demand for electricity. Since the summer of 2018, EPS has implemented a robust stakeholder engagement process to determine whether the implementation agreement should be signed and to identify a large number of issues and concerns raised in the decision protocol. SPP stated that if it launches WEIS in February 2021, it will become the market manager for these companies and possibly other utility companies in the West. The market will send core energy from these participants throughout the region every five minutes. The EPS will issue a closing letter at the end of 2021 that will establish whether participation in the EIM is consistent with the EIM`s principles of participation set out in the September 27 decision.- Meanwhile, on August 30, the municipal utilities Colorado Springs Utilities and Platte River Power Authority announced, in conjunction with energy suppliers Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy, that they would explore the possibility of joining an IMS. Xcel Energy, Black Hills Energy, Colorado Springs Utilities and Platte River Power Authority have obtained an independent consultant who assesses the benefits and costs of participating distribution companies in one of two markets — the WEIS proposed by SPP earlier this year or the existing Western EIM. , operated by CAISO. The Bonneville Power Administration has signed an agreement with the independent California-based operator to implement the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) that marks the beginning of work on projects to be finalized before BPA can begin operating under the EIM. At the same time, the BPA published a statement of decisions that addressed many political and thematic issues related to its participation in the EIM.
EPS on September 27 said it expects the benefits of dispatching the Western EIM quickly to pay the start-up and operating costs of the participation and lead to net annual benefits of $29 million to $34 million per year. According to EPS, Western EIM will also provide tools and capabilities to improve the efficiency of BPA transmission operations and more effectively reduce congestion along transportation corridors. A public position will follow the letter and the process will conclude in the fall of 2021 with a final decision on BPA`s accession to the Western EIM. In the next phase of the stakeholder process, bpA will make a series of policy decisions that will need to be made on how BPA plans to implement Western EIM in its operations, tariffs and transfer rates. The BPA plans to launch these discussions this fall. In June, BPA published a letter to the region outlining the case of business and the legal authority for western EIM membership, as well as important policy proposals. The study will help the four distribution companies evaluate the option that would be most beneficial to customers. EPS stated that current market design generators do not adequately compensate for their flexible destabilization capacity. ISO has expressed support for improving the market to address these issues through efforts to develop market opportunities for capacity and flexibility.