Wednesday, March 20, 2019

New Mexico Regulators Say PNM Can Join EIM

By Hudson Sangree

New Mexico regulators on Thursday gave Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) permission to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market, clearing the way for the state’s largest electric utility to begin participating in the interstate real-time market in April 2021.

The Public Regulation Commission voted 5-0 to allow the move by PNM, which declared its intent to join the EIM in August. (See PNM Seeks to Join Energy Imbalance Market.)

The New Mexico Wind Energy Center is among the resources that PNM could bring to the Western Energy Imbalance Market. | PNM

CAISO, which administers the EIM, welcomed PNM in a news release, saying the utility’s participation would increase the EIM’s efficiency in trading resources across the West. New Mexico is fast becoming one of the West’s largest producers of wind power, and California has a legal mandate to gather an increasing share of its electricity from renewable resources.

PNM generates about 2,580 MW of electricity, including 800 MW from low- or zero-carbon resources, CAISO said.

“The diversity and location of PNM’s resources, along with the transmission connectivity to the rest of the EIM footprint will provide significant benefits to their customers,” CAISO said in its statement.

The EIM has generated a half-billion dollars in benefits for its members since its founding in November 2014, including $100 million in the third quarter of 2018 alone, CAISO has said.

The EIM’s current members include Arizona Public Service, Idaho Power, NV Energy, Portland General Electric, Puget Sound Energy and Powerex. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and several other entities are scheduled to join between 2019 and 2021.