Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.


  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Climate Change Is Driving People Nuts
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-China Leading The Global Wind Boom
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Harvesting The Riches Of Africa’s Deserts
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Big Oil Faces Up To Cars With Plugs


  • TTTA Thursday-Inside The White House Fight On Climate
  • TTTA Thursday-New Energy Is The Jobs Engine
  • TTTA Thursday-Wind Industry Boom Getting Bigger
  • TTTA Thursday-Funding Better Transportation

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Mixed-ownership models spur utility investment in microgrids
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: How the wind industry can continue its boom into the 2020s
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Rhode Island targets a common perspective on DER values

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Way To Grow EVs
  • QUICK NEWS, April 25: Private Sector Takes Over The Climate Fight; How Sea Level Rise Would Change The Map; Wind Jobs Top 100,000 As Wind Energy Booms

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Risk Of Natural Gas Vs. The Risk Of Wind
  • QUICK NEWS, April 24: The Health Impacts Of Climate Change; New Energy Is Everywhere; Study Shows LA Does Not Need Aliso Canyon

  • Weekend Video: How To Win Friends For New Energy
  • Weekend Video: The Electric Vehicle Highway
  • Weekend Video: Wind And The Economy
  • --------------------------


    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews


    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns


    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart




      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.


    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • WEEKEND VIDEOS, April 29-30:

  • Finding Common Ground
  • Go To Work In Wind
  • The Promise Of Robot Cars

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015


    Regional Coordination in the West: Benefits of PacifiCorp and California ISO Integration

    October 2015 (Energy and Environmental Economics)

    Executive Summary

    Changes in the electricity industry across the Western U.S. are creating new opportunities for cooperation and coordination among electric utilities. As populations and economies throughout the region continue to grow, utilities are increasingly looking to regional solutions to meet their customers’ needs at a reasonable cost. State and federal environmental policies and changing customer preferences are driving a transformation of the region’s generation mix, significantly increasing its reliance on renewable energy. Regional coordination will help Western utilities respond to these changes at a lower cost to customers while maintaining high levels of reliability.

    The benefits of regional coordination have already begun to spur collaborative initiatives among the West’s balancing authority areas. In November 2014, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) and PacifiCorp established a joint energy imbalance market (EIM). The new market generated $21 million in customer benefits in the first eight months of operation, in line with initial estimates. NV Energy is on schedule to begin participating in the EIM in November 2015 and two additional utilities — Puget Sound Energy and Arizona Public Service — have announced their intention to participate in the EIM in fall 2016. Portland General Electric and Idaho Power Company have both recently announced plans to explore steps to possible participation in the EIM.

    In April 2015, PacifiCorp and the ISO announced a memorandum of understanding to explore PacifiCorp becoming a full participating transmission owner (PTO). As part of this process, PacifiCorp engaged Energy and Environmental Economics (E3) to preliminarily assess the potential incremental benefits1 beyond those already captured through participation in the EIM, of further integrating PacifiCorp and the ISO, where PacifiCorp becomes a PTO and the ISO becomes a more regional organization through changes in its governance. This report presents an overview of our findings.

    Full integration of the PacifiCorp and ISO systems would provide a number of operating, investment, and regulatory cost savings, incremental to those achieved by the EIM, which are summarized in the table below.

    In this report, we develop quantitative estimates for four of these benefits: (1) more efficient unit commitment and dispatch, (2) more efficient overgeneration management, (3) lower peak capacity needs, and (4) renewable procurement savings. The other benefits listed in Table 1 represent important potential sources of additional value for PacifiCorp and existing ISO customers but are more difficult to accurately quantify. Figure 1 shows a range of quantified incremental benefits for PacifiCorp and ISO customers in 2024 and 2030.

    We estimate that integration of PacifiCorp and the ISO’s balancing authority areas would yield significant incremental annual savings that increase over time. In 2024, we estimate incremental savings of $62 to $122 million (2015$) for PacifiCorp, rising to $200 to $272 million in 2030 (Table 2). For ISO customers, we estimate incremental cost savings of $92 to $213 million in 2024, rising to $203 to $894 million in 2030 (Table 3). Over its first full 20 years, assumed here to be 2020 to 2039, we estimate that PacifiCorp and ISO integration would yield $1.6 to $2.3 billion (2015$) in total present value incremental savings for PacifiCorp, and $1.8 to $6.8 billion for ISO customers.

    The large range in benefits for 2030, particularly for ISO customers, reflects the significant upside potential for jointly planning transmission to access low-cost renewable resources across the combined footprint, thereby creating an opportunity for California to achieve a portion of its 50% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) target at a reduced cost. This study assumes high-quality wind resource potential in Wyoming is used to meet a portion of the California RPS targets as a means to measure the benefits of joint transmission planning for renewable development strategy, recognizing that alternative transmission and supply options for renewable development exist.

    As the results suggest, PacifiCorp and ISO customers will benefit differently from integration. PacifiCorp’s largest source of incremental benefits will be operating cost savings — savings in fuel and energy procurement costs that result from participating in the ISO’s day-ahead market and importing renewable energy when California has excess supply. ISO customers will realize incremental benefits primarily from investment cost savings — savings from procuring lower cost renewable energy and from reducing the need to replace overgeneration with additional renewable energy to meet policy goals.

    Benefits increase significantly over time, particularly for ISO customers facing a 50% RPS target by 2030. Consequently, it is important for stakeholders to take a long-term perspective when evaluating the benefits of PacifiCorp and ISO integration. The high-value, longer-term savings described in this report are linked to planning and investment decisions that require long lead times and clear guidance. Importantly, PacifiCorp and ISO integration in the nearer term would provide the joint processes and certainty that enable more strategic and efficient longer-term investment decisions.

    The quantified benefits for both PacifiCorp and ISO customers are sufficient to support continued progress toward PacifiCorp and ISO integration. Over a longer-term horizon, the integration of the PacifiCorp and ISO balancing authority areas would provide PacifiCorp and ISO customers greater flexibility to respond to ongoing changes in state and federal environmental policies, to develop renewable energy, and to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at a lower cost. Additionally, the regional transmission organization created through PacifiCorp and ISO integration would lay a foundation for broader participation by other balancing area authorities in the West. While the initial benefits analysis presented in this report indicates there is an opportunity for significant benefits, ultimately, a successful integration will require PacifiCorp and the ISO customers to each have net benefits. The upcoming stakeholder process will provide the guidance for any necessary changes to the ISO tariff and inform the determination of overall costs and benefits. A description of the key cost categories, while not quantified, are included in Section 3 of this report.

    The remainder of this report is organized into four sections. Section 1 provides context for the assessment, describing expected changes in the Western Interconnection over the next 15 years. Section 2 presents the benefits assessment, including qualitative descriptions of how different parties stand to benefit and quantitative estimates of a subset of those benefits. Section 3 describes cost categories. Section 4 summarizes key conclusions. A separate technical appendix describes the methods and assumptions used to develop the quantitative benefit estimates.


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