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ScottMadden Joins Industry Leaders to Discuss Responses to Coal Plant Shutdowns and Impacts of Expanding the CAISO EIM

October 1, 2015

ScottMadden, Inc., one of North America’s leading energy consulting firms, recently joined leading industry players as a sponsor and presenter at Infocast’s 7th Annual Transmission Summit West in San Diego, California. The three-day program featured two distinct events: The Transmission Executive Forum West, held September 28, 2015, and The Transmission Summit West 2015, held September 29–30, 2015.

During the Transmission Executive Forum West, Mark Fronmuller, partner at ScottMadden, served as Forum chair and moderated the panel, “Regional and Interregional Responses to Coal Plant Shutdowns.” All utilities and western regional organizations are performing coal and once-through cooling shutdown studies. Panelists from Tucson Electric Company, Xcel Energy, and PG&E examined how to deal with prospective 111(d) and other shutdowns. They also considered ways for this to be handled on a larger scale than just the individual plant owner or utility level. Panel members acknowledged the value of regional planning organizations to unlock the value of new transmission, but cited the need for greater clarity to produce truly accurate scenarios.

“This is a very interesting time as we have the expansion of the Energy Imbalance Market, increased commitments to renewable energy, and the formulation of plans to comply with the Clean Power Plan,” said Mr. Fronmuller.

During the Transmission Summit West, Mr. Fronmuller also facilitated the panel, “Regional Balancing – Impacts of Expanding the CAISO EIM.” To unlock the advantages of regional collaboration, CAISO and PacifiCorp have developed a real-time Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) that opened in the fall of 2014. NV Energy is poised to enter the market in 2015, and Puget Sound Energy and APS are planning to join in 2016. PGE and Idaho Power are the latest utilities to study the feasibility of joining. During this session, panelists from PacifiCorp Transmission, CAISO, and Calpine Corp. addressed the following questions:

  • What benefits are provided by the EIM to participants and customers?
  • Is it changing operating strategies for participants?
  • Will additional transmission capabilities be needed as its geographic reach expands?
  • What are the prospects for future expansion?
  • Will the rules be further standardized to ease the transition as new members join?

Panel members acknowledged that the EIM, in addition to providing a vehicle to address renewable energy, will provide important price signals indicating where congestion occurs.

“The timing of 111(d) and the increased activity in the Energy Imbalance Market have heightened the need for increased regional planning which was clearly evident through the panels at the conference,” noted Mr. Fronmuller.

About ScottMadden’s Energy Practice
Since 1983, we have been energy consultants. We have served more than 300 clients, including 20 of the top 20 energy utilities. We have performed more than 2,400 projects across every energy utility business unit and every function. We have helped our clients develop strategies, improve operations, reorganize companies, and implement initiatives. Our broad and deep energy utility expertise is not theoretical—it is experience based.

About ScottMadden, Inc.
ScottMadden is the management consulting firm that does what it takes to get it done right. Our practice areas include Energy, Clean Tech & Sustainability, Corporate & Shared Services, and Grid Transformation. We deliver a broad array of consulting services ranging from strategic planning through implementation across many industries, business units, and functions. To learn more, visit | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


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