On August 12, 2019, the Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB) and the EIM-Body of State Regulators (EIM-BOSR) approved a memorandum of understanding outlining a conditional agreement through which WIEB may provide the technical expertise, staff resources, and office space necessary to support a growing role for the EIM-BOSR.
Need for Technical & Staff Support
When the EIM-BOSR was first created, there was much uncertainty about how the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) would expand and how successful the EIM would be. Initially, the EIM-BOSR’s need for staff and technical resources was small and fulfilled by staff of the public utility commissions. However, due to limited state resources, it quickly became apparent that another approach was needed. In 2016, the EIM-BOSR reached out to WIEB. Since that time, WIEB has provided limited staff resources and arranged for EIM-BOSR meetings to be held in conjunction with Spring and Fall Joint CREPC-WIRAB Meetings.
Looking back, the EIM has been a tremendous success and CAISO is now contemplating expansion to a day-ahead market, which would significantly increase the volume of energy transacted by participants through a wholesale market and substantially increase the need and opportunity for the EIM-BOSR to thoughtfully engage on related developments. Ensuring that the EIM-BOSR is provided with an appropriate level of technical and staff assistance—assistance that will support an increased level of EIM-BOSR activity and engagement—is becoming more critical and more challenging than ever.
EIM-BOSR & WIEB Response
Having discussed this matter in depth, and having considered multiple options, the EIM-BOSR concluded that WIEB is best situated to provide this support to the EIM-BOSR in a competent and cost-effective manner. The expansion of wholesale electricity markets in the West is an issue that has and will continue to significantly impact the economy of the West and well-being of the Region’s people and, therefore, it is an issue of great importance to WIEB. It is well within WIEB’s purview to provide the technical expertise, staff resources, and office space necessary to support the growing needs of the EIM-BOSR. WIEB already provides the tools and framework necessary to support the Western Interconnection Regional Advisory Body (WIRAB), the Committee on Regional Electric Power Coordination (CREPC), and—in a very limited capacity—the EIM-BOSR. WIEB has been happy to support the EIM-BOSR’s efforts in this limited capacity. However, WIEB recognizes that, in order to provide an appropriate level of support to the EIM-BOSR as wholesale electricity markets continue to expand, WIEB would need to identify a secure source of dedicated funding.
Memorandum of Understanding [pdf]
With this understanding, the EIM-BOSR worked with WIEB to draft, discuss, and enter into an memorandum of understanding, setting forth the principles under which WIEB would provide the resources needed to support ongoing efforts of the EIM-BOSR. The memorandum received overwhelming support from both the WIEB and EIM-BOSR membership; is contingent upon identifying a secure source of funding to support EIM-BOSR activities; and provides that, although WIEB and the EIM-BOSR may consult with one another, they will otherwise operate independently, maintaining separate decision-making authority and separate budgets.
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