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Touting Lower Costs, Idaho Power Asks to Join Regional Energy Market


A typical 500-kilovolt transmission line. - IDAHO POWER
  • Idaho Power
  • A typical 500-kilovolt transmission line.
Idaho Power officials want to join an energy market that could reduce electrical bills for customers in the region by as much as $5 million per year.

The Energy Imbalance Market was created in 2014 to better match production with demand by allowing power producers to pool their electricity generation with neighboring utilities. The EIM currently includes Rocky Mountain Power in eastern Idaho, NV Energy, Puget Sound Energy and the Arizona Service Public Service Company. Portland General Electric is scheduled to join in October 2017.

Seeking approval from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, Idaho Power said joining the EIM could reduce net power supply expense to customers by operating on a nearly real-time basis—allowing markets to automatically find the lowest cost energy to serve energy demand over a wide geographic area. Idaho Power also claims the EIM would allow for more efficient integration of wind and solar resources.

There are upfront costs, estimated to be about $11.1 million, most of which are software integration expenses.

The Public Utilities Commission is taking public comment on the proposal through Dec. 15.