California ISO (CAISO) Energy Imbalance Market

California ISO (CAISO) Energy Imbalance Market

Author: Velocity Suite ISO Data Analyst

On November 1st, the California ISO’s new Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) with Pacificorp went live. Energy is flowing in and out of Pacificorp and CAISO to meet demand in real time markets. The ISO hopes that the new market will help drive down prices and optimize the dispatch of resources to account for the imbalance between peak renewable generation and peak demand across regions.

So, what is the Energy Imbalance Market? Prior to defining the market, it’s necessary to briefly discuss intermittent resources, and how they correlate to load. The California ISO continues to increase their renewable capacity throughout the footprint to meet a 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2020. The chart below represents a historical look at capacity in the California footprint over the past few decades. It isn’t until 2011 that the footprint starts to see drastic increases in solar and wind capacity.

CAISO Capacity by Year - chart2

However, there’s a caveat to adding renewable capacity to the footprint such as solar – the sun doesn’t shine when consumers need power the most. These patterns prevail throughout the California ISO and Pacificorp footprint. CAISO’s solution to this disparity is the Energy Imbalance Market. The market intends to help fix the imbalances between peak generation for intermittent resources, and peak demand where consumers need power the most by allowing power to flow to and from EIM regions.

The ABB team recently presented a webcast covering the EIM Market, what it means for market participants and consumers in the affected regions, and a look at the first three weeks of November 2014. The presentation covers a variety of topics including a background of capacity in California and their RPS goals, how prices have changed since the implementation of the EIM market, and the new data that is being collected for analysis. The second half gives a forecast view of the nodal price and generation impacts the market will have on the region’s future.

The following map is a glimpse of average prices in the imbalance market, overlaid with the current transmission infrastructure and nodal prices for California. If you are interested in learning more about the new Energy Imbalance Market, click the link below for the presentation.

Nodal Prices EIM Start - map2

If you have any questions on how to access this data or how to analyze this new market, feel free to Contact Velocity Support for more information.


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