PGE to explore next steps to join western energy imbalance market

Customer benefit tilts balance toward western EIM over NW initiative

Sept. 18, 2015

Portland, Ore. — Portland General Electric today informed regulators, customer groups and participants in regional energy markets it intends to explore steps to join the western energy imbalance market launched in 2014 by PacifiCorp and the California Independent System Operator. An EIM is a real-time energy wholesale market that automatically dispatches the lowest-cost electricity resources available to meet utility customer needs while optimizing use of renewable energy over a large geographic area.

As a result, PGE will withdraw from further participation in a market initiative led by the Northwest Power Pool Members’ Market Assessment and Coordination Committee, which has been exploring alternative models to promote better resource coordination among utilities in the region. PGE will continue to work with the NWPP members on enhancements to regional reliability and will honor its commitment to help fund the initiative through the end of this year.

“We’ve been an active participant in the NWPP MC initiative and have worked hard with other members to develop regional solutions since the effort began in 2011,” said Jim Piro, PGE’s president and CEO. “In the end, the reduced resource footprint available among participants in the NWPP MC initiative shifted the economic value for our customers to favor us moving instead toward the western EIM.”

Currently, the western EIM serves customers in parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Las Vegas-based NV Energy is scheduled to join the EIM later this year followed in 2016 by Bellevue, Washington-based Puget Sound Energy and Phoenix-based Arizona Public Service Company.

PGE has been evaluating its participation in either the NWPP MC initiative or the western EIM as part of its current integrated resource planning process. Recent decisions by other regional utilities to join the western EIM have left the NWPP MC initiative with a reduced footprint that limits the value to PGE customers of further engagement. PGE’s participation in the western EIM will be subject to negotiation over coming months, and is targeted to begin in the fall of 2017.

“We learned a great deal by participating in the NWPP Members’ Market Assessment and Coordination Committee,” Piro said. “I especially want to thank the many utilities and their staff that have worked very hard in support of the northwest effort, and to express my appreciation for the exceptional leadership of BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer and Tacoma Public Utilities Director and CEO Bill Gaines throughout this initiative.”

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About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon, serving approximately 887,000 customers in 51 cities. For more than 130 years, PGE has been delivering safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. With approximately 3,000 employees across the state, PGE is committed to helping its customers and the communities it serves build a clean energy future. For more information, visit

Source: Portland General Electric Company

For more information contact Steve Corson, PGE, 503-464-8444,