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RNP Press Release
July 10, 2014

A Modern Energy System for the Northwest

This week, the Department of Energy convened a conference at Lewis and Clark College as part of a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) to assess the electric grid’s strengths and weaknesses in the face of climate change. As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the QER is taking a close look at transmission, storage and distribution in order to improve reliability and resiliency as the threats and impacts of a changing climate continue to increase.  Super storms like Hurricane Sandy, massive forest fires, and reduced snowpack all have impacts for our electric grid.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have an opportunity to improve transmission reliability and reduce costs to consumers. Advances in communications and technology make it possible for us to manage our electric grid more efficiently. Much of the rest of the country has already employed some of these new communication’s tools to create Energy Imbalance Markets (or EIM), which allows utilities to share balancing reserves across a broader geographic area and using a more diverse set of resources.

Establishing an EIM in the Northwest is the single most important step the region can take right now to make our energy system more resilient to the impacts of climate change and to help integrate the clean energy resources like wind and solar that will help to slow climate change itself.

Balancing reserves may not sound exciting, but they help keep the lights on. Using our existing reserves more efficiently across utilities increases grid reliability. An EIM would also save ratepayers money: reports from the Northwest Power Pool conservatively estimate cost savings of between $70 and $90 million per year. Beyond the reliability and cost savings, an EIM also makes it easier to integrate more renewable energy resources onto our electric grid.

As the Department of Energy conducts their Quadrennial Energy Review, we hope our utility leaders recognize the numerous benefits an EIM provides and move forward on establishing an EIM for the Northwest.

Watch a short video and learn more about Energy Imbalance Markets.

For more information contact:

Amy Baird, Communications Manager


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Video - Energy Imbalance Market

It is time for the Northwest to modernize its electricity system and create an Energy Imbalance Market.

watch the video >