Energy, Utilities & Water  February 2, 2021

Tri-State joins multi-state energy trading market

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. has begun membership in a energy imbalance market that it says is critical in its longer-term renewable-energy plans.

The market, which launched at midnight Monday as the Western Energy Imbalance Service, is run by Arkansas-based Southwest Power Pool Inc. The WEIS market allows the power wholesalers to trade energy with other producers in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and portions of Arizona depending on demand within five-minute intervals. For example, if a wholesaler in western Colorado is taking on heavy demand and a supplier in Wyoming has excess energy, the two can trade that power within the market.

Between those providers, meters in almost every part of Northern Colorado, the Boulder Valley and the Denver area would receive energy traded through the market except for select municipalities that run their own power and light services.

The company is a federally-designated regional transmission organization, which manages the transfer of power across state lines in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and Montana.

In a press conference, Tri-State CEO Duane Highley said access to the market is part of making  its plan to eliminate 80% of its emissions by 2030 financially viable because the expected excess energy can be moved elsewhere from Tri-State’s customers.

“When you look at the amount of renewables we’ll have, at times their total production will exceed our load,” he said. “And we need to have neighbors that we can spread that energy around with and SPP construct allows that to happen.”

The Platte River Power Authority and the Colorado branch of Xcel Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: XEL) signalled their intent in 2019 to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market, an organization that’s similar in name and function to the SPP’s market, but is owned by a different federally-regulated entity known as the California Independent System Operator.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. has begun membership in a energy imbalance market that it says is critical in its longer-term renewable-energy plans.

The market, which launched at midnight Monday as the Western Energy Imbalance Service, is run by Arkansas-based Southwest Power Pool Inc. The WEIS market allows the power wholesalers to trade energy with other producers in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and portions of Arizona depending on demand within five-minute intervals. For example, if a wholesaler in western Colorado is taking on heavy demand and a supplier in Wyoming has excess energy,…

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