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December 2017  •   Issue 11
The ISO is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that manages the bulk electric market, and the flow of electricity over the high-voltage, long-distance power lines for California and a small part of Nevada.

Western EIM celebrates three years of savings


The western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) has saved over a quarter billion dollars and reduced carbon emissions since it launched in November 2014, and continues to grow more robust with each new participant that joins.

“This innovative market is only possible through the close collaboration with our neighboring utilities and states in the West,” said ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich, marking the market’s third anniversary.

Oregon-based PacifiCorp was the first participant followed by NV Energy, Puget Sound Energy, Arizona Public Service and most recently, Portland General Electric, serving consumers in eight western states. Six more utilities are preparing to enter the EIM by spring 2020, including two of the largest municipal utilities in the nation, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Balancing Authority of Northern California/Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Idaho Power of Boise with its 17 hydroelectric power plants, Canada’s Powerex, Phoenix-based Salt River Project and Seattle City Light are preparing for entry.

The EIM reduces generation costs by finding low-cost energy – often renewable power resources – to serve consumer demand. PacifiCorp has realized cost-saving benefits of $107 million to date.

Figure 1: Gross benefits in $ millions (thru Q3 2017)







Arizona Public Service












NV Energy






Puget Sound Energy



















The western EIM also helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 214,917 metric tons, which is equivalent to eliminating the emissions from nearly 50,000 cars for a year. This occurs because the market more efficiently uses zero carbon emitting resources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric across a wider region, displacing other, non-renewable resources.

Click here to learn more about the western EIM and how it helps clean the air and promotes renewable resource integration.

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Web upgrades, EIM highlight busy year


ISO launches redesign of its Today’s Outlook pages

The ISO had a productive year that included significant enhancements to our website. We completely overhauled our most popular webpage, Today’s Outlook, to make it easier to use, as well as adding more timely information to help keep up with grid conditions. Several new and enhanced data graphs to the webpage include supply and demand forecasts, and yesterday’s results. Visitors also see at a glance the current generation capacity available to the ISO and the current demand.

Information under the Supply tab shows the current use of resources by fuel type with renewables broken out into its types, such as wind, solar and batteries. The data is pulled from multiple ISO platforms, and is automatically updated every five minutes. Hovering over the line curves show the value at that data point. Click here for more information.

The following are new or updated ISO web pages in 2017:

Learning Center — A new educational page offers computer-based training, webinar information and a list of upcoming in-person courses aimed at improving understanding of the inner workings of the ISO energy grid and bulk electricity markets.

Managing Oversupply — This webpage helps explain the challenges of interconnecting growing amounts of wind and solar resources, as well as showing the critical solutions to maximize the use of renewable resources.

Key Topics — In the fast-changing energy sector, information and issues are updated frequently. The ISO manages a Key Topics page to help visitors find topical and newsworthy information in one area. The yellow button on the left hand side of the ISO’s homepage allows quick access. — This site on the western Energy Imbalance Market collects all documents related to the innovative real-time wholesale energy trading market, which has saved consumers hundreds of millions of dollars by allowing participants anywhere in the West in buy low-cost energy.

We communicate directly with more than 67,000 people nearly every day through all our communication channels. Sign up for any one of our communication channels — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Daily Briefing, RSS feeds, YouTube and Flex Alerts — by visiting the Notifications page.

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Symposium draws U.S., global leaders


Nearly 1,000 energy industry leaders from throughout the world gathered at the California ISO’s 2017 Stakeholder Symposium in October to share ideas, visions, challenges, and solutions for the greener, more efficient electric system of the future.

This year, the speakers and panelists explored innovative technologies and trends flowing into the energy space, how that
is transforming the grid, and the new economy blossoming from
the changes.

Videos of presentations and panel discussions are available on the ISO website here.

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Cybersecurity: The ISO remains vigilant


Nearly 6,000 grid operators, including the ISO, recently participated in a nationwide two-day exercise called GridEx to practice and test cyber protection programs and processes. This was the fourth year holding the simulation exercise. In addition to energy industry experts, participants included security professionals and leaders from industry and government in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The exercise objectives included practicing crisis response and recovery, improving communications, and identifying lessons learned.

Over the past several years, the ISO has invested significant resources to create cybershields that meet or exceed industry, state and federal standards. In addition to existing standards, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides expectations to further strengthen our ability to ward off cyberattacks.

The ISO coordinates proactively with law enforcement officials as well as conduct our own exercises to test security measures.

Read more about GridEx here.

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Touring the California ISO headquarters


The California ISO is quietly becoming a tourist destination.

The ISO, a nonprofit, public benefit corporation, hosts thousands of visitors each year, many of them international, to tour our Folsom, California, headquarters where they get to see the grid operations and market control center up close, discuss interconnecting renewables to the system, and learn about our building’s sustainable features.

The interest in touring the ISO continues to grow. About 194 groups visited the ISO campus in 2017 with over two-thirds of those from foreign countries; that’s up 34 percent over 2016. That represents some 13,580 people who visited our campus this year, which is an increase of nearly 2,300.

Because the ISO is a pioneer in the field of connecting and using large amounts of clean energy, visitors from around the world are intrigued in learning how we operate the grid and the wholesale energy market.


The guests include system operators, government officials, regulators, industry experts, environmentalists and private sector businesses. The ISO has its share of electricity fans too, including students, community organizations, and businesses, many from our hometown and the Northern California area.

Visit the California ISO website at to learn more about the energy grid and the future of renewable energy.

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