California ISO using Siemens software to run energy market

Siemens has developed and implemented energy market management software to support the operation of the growing western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM).

The real-time EIM was launched by the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) in November 2014 and allows utilities across a broad footprint to more efficiently exchange and share energy resources, including renewables like wind and solar, based on generation and demand needs.

Siemens software is a component of the EIM system that allows the ISO to analyze the energy requirements of the grid every five minutes and automatically determine the lowest-cost generation to meet demand while maintaining the security of the grid. The software provides system operators greater insight into the power grid to monitor generation and demand across the entire six-state EIM region.

“The ISO remains on the cutting edge of transforming the grid into one that more easily adapts to changing technology and efficiently leverages renewable resources such as wind and solar,” said Steve Berberich, ISO President and CEO. “The EIM is a fantastic opportunity for regional entities to share resources and lower cost of renewable integration for the benefit of electric customers throughout the west. We truly appreciate our partnership with Siemens in helping us to deploy advanced technology to unlock those benefits.”

According to a February 2015 report, the EIM resulted in $5.97 benefits in the fourth quarter of 2014. A subsequent report in April 2015 shows $5.26 million in benefits for the first quarter of 2015. This resulted in a benefit of over $11 million in five months for the ISO and its first and current participant, Pacificorp, whose serves customers in six western states — California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Additional EIM participation will show even greater benefits as the resource pool expands with greater amounts of cost effective power.

As a measure of the growing recognition of the benefits of the EIM, Arizona Public Service (APS) has announced they will be joining in October 2016. APS is expected to achieve $7 million to $18 million in energy production savings per year according to an assessment by Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. Las Vegas-based NV Energy plans to begin participating later this year, while Puget Sound Energy in Washington and Arizona Public Service, which is based in Phoenix, have announced that they enter the market in fall 2016.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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