Western Energy Imbalance Market Brings Significant Savings to Berkshire-Owned Utilities

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

The western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM), which includes Berkshire Hathaway’s PacifiCorp and NV Energy, produced benefits of $28.27 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

NV Energy total benefits in Q4 2016 were $3.07 million. PacifiCorp saw benefits of $8.99 million, while the ISO realized $8.67 million.

The benefits since the real-time market was launched in November 2014 now total $142.62 million. The EIM also displaced about 10,011 metric tons of CO2 emissions from less clean resources by using surplus renewable energy from California that otherwise would have gone unused, according to the fourth quarter report.

“We continue to see growing energy savings to consumers in the West,” said ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich. “We are pleased with the continued growth of the market and interest from prospective participants.”

The EIM uses state-of-art technology to automatically optimize the real-time grid and find low cost energy regardless of its location to serve consumers in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Portland General Electric will enter the EIM in October 2017 followed by Idaho Power in April 2018 and Seattle City Light in April 2019.

The Balancing Area of Northern California/Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and the El Centro Nacional de Control de Energía (CENACE) have separately announced their intention to enter or explore entering the EIM.

Another benefit comes from lessening the amount of energy reserves utilities must carry as they can lean upon resources outside of their service area to serve their load at less cost.

© 2017 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.