The California Independent System Operator (ISO) and El Centro Nacional de Control de Energía (CENACE) announce that the Mexican electric system operator has agreed to explore participation of its Baja California Norte grid in the real-time energy imbalance market (EIM).
CENACE and the ISO will begin a benefits assessment and enter into a cooperation agreement to support CENACE’s market implementation as directed by the clean energy memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Energy of the United Mexican States and the State of California.
The Baja California Norte region has two California grid connections, Ota y Mesa and Imperial Valley, but it is not connected to Baja California Sur or the Mexico mainland grid.
"CENACE’s Baja California Norte participation in the western EIM will enable it to benefit from the savings that a large geographic region can offer," said Steve Berberich, ISO president and CEO. "Like our current EIM participants, we recognize that a successful energy future relies on regional collaboration to best plan and optimize resources, especially renewable power. We welcome CENACE’s interest and agreement to explore participating in the western EIM."
CENACE General Director Eduardo Meraz agreed that participation in the western real-time market and the benefits realized so far by other participants is worthy of serious consideration.
"Mexico has had a long, productive relationship with the ISO as we coordinate the management of our interconnected electricity grids," Meraz said. "It is only logical for CENACE to carefully consider Baja California Norte’s participation in the western EIM, with its promises of lower-cost electricity and increased renewable integration."
The ISO uses state-of-the-art technology to automatically match lower-cost energy supply from across the West with demand every five minutes. This flexibility enables ISO grid operators to more efficiently use wind and solar resources from a wide geographic area where power output can change rapidly depending on wind speeds and cloud cover. The resource optimization occurs across the entire EIM footprint, giving utilities new access to low-cost generation.
The cost and environmental benefits produced by the EIM have been positive. Since PacifiCorp began participating in November 2014, the western EIM has realized more than US$88 million in cost benefits. The EIM currently operates in eight western U.S. states, including California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona and Nevada.