Several Western power providers announce plans to explore market options
Several electric providers that serve millions of customers in the Western United States announced plans today to evaluate regional market solutions together.
Members of the informal Western Markets Exploratory Group (WMEG) are exploring the potential for a staged approach to new market services, including day-ahead energy sales, transmission system expansion, and other power supply and grid solutions consistent with existing state regulations. The group hopes to identify market solutions that can help achieve carbon reduction goals while supporting reliable, affordable service for customers.
The group, which began discussions this summer, includes Xcel Energy-Colorado (PSCo), Arizona Public Service, Black Hills Energy, Idaho Power, NV Energy, Inc., PacifiCorp, Platte River Power Authority, Portland General Electric, Puget Sound Energy, Salt River Project, Seattle City Light, and Tucson Electric Power.
Discussions are in the early stages and are focused on developing long-term solutions to improve market efficiencies in the West. That includes incorporating lessons learned from existing regional markets as well as other efforts across the West.
“We are excited to join with the other companies to explore creating new ways of sharing resources to better serve our customers with affordable and reliable power, said Alice Jackson, president of Xcel Energy-Colorado. “We believe that a Western energy market is key to transforming the electricity system throughout the West, integrating more renewables onto the system, while reducing costs and maintaining reliability.”
“Today’s announcement represents the next step toward achieving Nevada’s vision for a clean energy economy,” said Doug Cannon, NV Energy president and chief executive officer. “By exploring opportunities to greater diversify and maximize Western energy resources, we will help bring cost savings, improved reliability and carbon reduction benefits to not only Nevada, but to the entire region.”
“PacifiCorp has long believed that further connecting the West with new transmission, clean energy resources and market efficiencies will unlock greater savings, reliability and improved environmental outcomes for our customers across the six states we proudly serve.” said Stefan Bird, President and CEO of Pacific Power, a unit of PacifiCorp. “Partnering with our neighboring electricity providers and exploring potential models to deliver on that promise is something we are excited to be a part of.”
Many of the companies in the group are currently participating in, or preparing to join the California Independent System Operator’s Western Energy Imbalance Market, or have announced plans to evaluate energy imbalance services. WMEG’s discussions will not impact participation in or evaluation of those markets in the short-term, as the group is focused on long-term market solutions.
APS serves more than 1.3 million homes and businesses in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is a leader in delivering affordable, clean, and reliable energy in the Southwest. The company is committed to serving customers with 100% clean power by 2050. As owner and operator of Palo Verde Generating Station, the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free electricity, and with one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy portfolios, APS’s current energy mix is 50% clean. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW)
About Black Hills Corp.
Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) is a customer focused, growth-oriented utility company with a tradition of improving life with energy and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, the company serves 1.3 million natural gas and electric utility customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. More information is available at blackhillscorp.com.
About Idaho Power
Idaho Power, headquartered in vibrant and fast-growing Boise, Idaho, has been a locally operated energy company since 1916. Today, it serves a 24,000-square-mile area in Idaho and Oregon. The company’s goal to provide 100% clean energy by 2045 builds on its long history as a clean-energy leader that provides reliable service at affordable prices. With 17 low-cost hydroelectric projects at the core of its diverse energy mix, Idaho Power’s residential, business and agricultural customers pay among the nation’s lowest prices for electricity. Its 2,000 employees proudly serve more than 595,000 customers with a culture of safety first, integrity always and respect for all.
IDACORP Inc. (NYSE: IDA), Idaho Power’s independent publicly traded parent company, is also headquartered in Boise, Idaho. To learn more, visit idahopower.com or idacorpinc.com.
About NV Energy
NV Energy provides a wide range of energy services to more than 1.5 million customers throughout Nevada and a typical tourist population of 54 million annually. NV Energy, Inc. is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company, do business as NV Energy. NV Energy is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. Information about NV Energy is available on the company's website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via nvenergy.com.
Innovating to power a better future for the West, PacifiCorp operates the largest grid in the western United States, serving the growing energy needs of 2 million customers through 17,645 miles of transmission lines over a service area of 141,503 square miles. Our operating divisions are leaders in providing safe, reliable and sustainable low-cost power. Pacific Power serves 815,823 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. Rocky Mountain Power serves 1,232,717 customers in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.
About Platte River Power Authority
Platte River Power Authority is a not-for-profit, community-owned public power utility that generates and delivers safe, reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable energy and services to Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colorado, for delivery to their utility customers. For more information, visit prpa.org.
About Portland General Electric
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon, with operations across the state. The company serves approximately 900,000 customers with a service area population of 2 million Oregonians in 51 cities. PGE owns 16 generation plants across Oregon and other Northwestern states and maintains and operates 14 public parks and recreation areas. For over 130 years, PGE has delivered safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. PGE and its 3,000 employees are working with customers to build a clean energy future. In 2020, PGE, employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated $5.6 million and volunteered 18,200 hours with more than 400 nonprofits across Oregon. For more information visit portlandgeneral.com/newsroom.
About Puget Sound Energy (PSE)
Puget Sound Energy is proud to serve its neighbors and communities in 10 Washington counties. PSE is the state’s largest utility, supporting 1.2 million electric customers and nearly 900,000 natural gas customers.The company aspires to be a beyond net zero carbon energy company by 2045. For more about PSE, visit pse.com or follow on Facebook and Twitter.
About Salt River Project (SRP)
SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 750,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.
About Seattle City Light
Seattle City Light, one of the nation’s largest publicly owned utilities, generates and delivers affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible power to the homes, businesses, and communities we serve. We provide carbon-neutral electricity, generated primarily from carbon-free hydropower, to over 900,000 residents in Seattle and the surrounding areas.
About Tucson Electric Power
TEP provides safe, reliable electric service to more than 433,000 customers in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit tep.com. TEP and its parent company, UNS Energy, are subsidiaries of Fortis Inc. (TSX/NYSE: FTS), which owns utilities that serve more than 3 million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. For more information, visit fortisinc.com.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.