PacifiCorp to Study Joining the California ISO

April 14, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. — PacifiCorp and the California Independent System Operator (ISO) announced an agreement today that commits the two entities to explore the feasibility and benefits of PacifiCorp joining the ISO.

The ISO is an independent, non-profit organization that manages about 80 percent of the energy flow in California. A decision by PacifiCorp, which operates in six Western states, to join the ISO would allow for fully coordinated planning and operation of the two largest electrical transmission grids in the region, and provide approximately 32 million customers served by both entities access to a broader array of power generation at lower costs. PacifiCorp would continue to serve retail customers as Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power the same as it does today.

The parties signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the feasibility, costs and benefits of PacifiCorp potentially joining the ISO as a participating transmission owner. A comprehensive benefits study is underway and is expected to be completed this summer. Should PacifiCorp decide to take additional steps to pursue joining the ISO, a stakeholder input and review process would be initiated and the company would seek necessary regulatory approvals, including from state regulatory commissions in states where it serves retail customers and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“We remain convinced that increased regional coordination of energy systems is key to helping keep costs affordable for customers, ensuring and enhancing grid reliability and allowing states and the region to best meet clean energy goals and requirements,” said Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power, which serves customers in Oregon, Washington and Northern California.

“There are a lot of questions that will need to be answered, but we have an opportunity and an obligation to look at whether taking this next step will provide additional benefits for customers,” said Cindy Crane, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power, which serves customers in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho.

PacifiCorp and the ISO launched the regional energy imbalance market in November 2014, which allows PacifiCorp to participate in the ISO’s real-time energy markets to most cost-effectively manage short-term fluctuations in energy supply and demand. Joining the ISO would extend that participation by PacifiCorp into the day-ahead energy market operated by the ISO, in addition to unified planning and operation of PacifiCorp’s transmission network.

To learn more:

PDF Read the FAQ

PDF Memorandum of Understanding