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CAL-ISO Approves Governance Proposal for Western EIM

September 23, 2015 By Cheryl Kaften

The California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAL-ISO) Board of Governors approved a proposal on September 17 that outlines the governance structure for the western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) – a real-time energy wholesale market went live last November. The EIM is expected to have a defining voice in shaping a real-time energy market that saves money on both sides of the wires and supports renewables.

As the board envisions it, the governing body will oversee EIM- related matters and approve market rules before approval by the CAL-ISO Board of Governors. The approved governance structure was developed by the EIM Transitional Committee, which comprises members from throughout the West and is chaired by Commissioner Rebecca Wagner of the Public Service Commission of Nevada.

“The governance proposal is a strong, innovative approach that ensures the Energy Imbalance Market serves the diverse areas of the West and enables its participants to reduce costs,” commented Wagner.

Under the approved straw-man proposal, the regionally focused, five-member EIM governing body would be financially independent of stakeholders and would have authority over EIM market rules. Nominees for the governing body would be identified by a committee whose members would represent stakeholders.

Any changes in EIM-specific market rules would be approved by the governing body and the CAL-ISO Board before they are filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

“The volunteers of the Transitional Committee … [have] dedicated their time and expertise to create a governance structure that supports and is responsive to all market participants,” said Richard Maullin, chair of the CAL-ISO Board of Governors. “This proposal allows EIM to deliver on its promise of providing low-cost electricity to customers, while protecting the environment by better integrating cleaner energy resources.”

The next step is to draft revisions to the CAL-ISO bylaws and create a charter for the EIM governing body, which will then be subject to approval by the ISO Board later this year. The Transitional Committee will continue to help shape those revisions and create the charter.

The EIM launched on November 1, 2014 with PacifiCorp, whose service territory includes parts of six states – and has saved more than $21 million in its first eight months of operation.

In a separate vote, the CAL-ISO Board appointed PacifiCorp Vice President and General Counsel Sarah Edmonds to replace PacifiCorp Vice President of Transmission System and Operations Natalie Hocken on the EIM Transitional Committee, who has moved to PacifiCorp’s parent company, Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

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