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ScottMadden’s Latest Energy Industry Update Uncovers Opportunities and Benefits of the Western Energy Imbalance Market

December 5, 2019

ScottMadden, Inc., one of North America’s leading management consulting firms specializing in energy, recently released its latest edition of The ScottMadden Energy Industry Update (EIU). This EIU uncovers expert insight on how the industry is addressing ambitious clean energy and carbon goals and what leaders can do to maximize their impact.

For several years, an energy imbalance market (EIM) has been in place in the western United States. Driven by changes in California’s generation mix and renewable portfolio standard, as well as greenhouse gas reduction targets, the Western EIM continues to grow, even as an alternative service from Southwest Power Pool vies for participants.

“The California Independent System Operator (ISO) designed this new market where non-ISO members can participate, share renewable energy, and integrate more renewable energy into the region,” shares Subba Nishtala, director at ScottMadden.

For potential participants in the western market, the evolution of energy markets presents new opportunities, especially in supply cost optimization, renewables generation integration, and transmission use. Entities in the West that are considering joining an EIM will see an increased focus on building organizational capabilities for managing market participation to optimize benefits.

So, what are the key financial and operational benefits of participating in an EIM? Mr. Nishtala explains, “You are now able to access lower and cheaper costs of resources, as well as more environmentally friendly resources. The operational benefits will help you better manage your grid because you will have access to a wider pool of resources.”

The West now has two ISOs offering EIM services. Many western utilities have planned to join the Western EIM, while a number are still weighing their options. Deciding which EIM to participate in is a decision that requires some evaluation, based on market scope and products, governance, and other considerations.

To learn more about opportunities and benefits of the Western EIM, as well as key considerations for potential market participants, you can hear from Mr. Nishtala in this new video.

If you were not able to join our Energy Industry Update webcast, the complimentary recording and presentation is now available. Hear what our industry experts have to say about the potential loss of carbon-free generation and its implications, the iconic duck curve, and the developments in the Western EIM.

About ScottMadden’s Energy Practice

We know energy from the ground up. Since 1983, we have served as energy consultants for hundreds of utilities, large and small, including all of the top 20. We focus on Transmission & Distribution, the Grid Edge, Generation, Energy Markets, Rates & Regulation, Enterprise Sustainability, and Corporate Services. Our broad, deep utility expertise is not theoretical—it is experience based. We have helped our clients develop and implement strategies, improve critical operations, reorganize departments and entire companies, and implement myriad initiatives.

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