Western Energy Imbalance Market Brings Berkshire Hathaway’s Utilities $30 Million in Benefits in Q3

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Berkshire Hathaway’s utilities, PacifiCorp and NV Energy, received almost $30 million in benefits in the 3rd quarter due to their participation in the Western Energy Imbalance Market.

To date, the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) has surpassed $500 million in gross benefits, as reflected by the wholesale electricity market since its launch in November 2014.

The Western EIM third quarter 2018 benefits are the highest total for any quarter, and were driven by periods of high demand and fuel prices.

During this quarter, the market generated $100.58 million in savings, pushing the total EIM benefits to $502.31 million.

“We are very pleased that the Western EIM benefits have now surpassed half a billion dollars,” said Steve Berberich, ISO President and CEO. “This clearly illustrates the value of markets to the customers in California and the region.”

NV Energy achieved benefits of $11.09 million and PacifiCorp’s benefits were $17.82 million.

“The EIM demonstrates the value participants’ gain being able to trade in real-time during high and low price periods,” said Mark Rothleder, the ISO’s Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration. “The opportunity to buy and sell lower cost energy available from the regional EIM footprint during high load, high energy price periods really showed this last quarter.”

The EIM in the third quarter also resulted in total avoided renewable curtailment of 19,032 megawatt-hours, reducing carbon emissions in the region by 8,146 metric tons.

Since the end of 2014, the Western EIM’s state-of-the-art technology has found and delivered 734,437 megawatt-hours of renewable energy that otherwise would have been curtailed without the real-time, multi-state market.

The effective use of carbon free generation from the market has amounted to reducing a gross of 314,258 metric tons of CO2 from 2015 to date.

Looking forward, the market will continue to grow with the planned addition of five entities.

The Balancing Authority of Northern California/Sacramento Municipal Utility District is set to begin participation in April 2019. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Salt River Project, and Seattle City Light will follow in April 2020. In addition, the Public Service Company of New Mexico is seeking regulatory approval to participate in the EIM.

The western EIM platform automatically finds and delivers low-cost energy to serve consumers in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Optimizing diverse resources from a large geographic area enables more effective use of carbon-free generation besides reducing costs.

© 2018 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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