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CEBA Praises West-Wide Governance Pathways Initiative Proposal as Important First Step

Independently Governed Electricity Market Entity Would Bring Benefits Across the West

The Clean Energy Buyers Association today welcomed a straw proposal released by the West-Wide Governance Pathways Initiative that outlines needed steps to develop a new, independently governed entity to oversee an expanded West-wide organized wholesale electricity market and related functions.

“A new, independently governed market organization with participation from states across the West would ensure energy customers in the region have access to the cost savings that an expanded Western wholesale electricity market would bring,” said Heidi Ratz, CEBA’s deputy director of market and policy innovation for the West. “We commend the efforts of the West-Wide Governance Pathways Initiative and look forward to continuing to support the efforts of its launch committee in developing this important endeavor that would help meet growing electricity demand, maximize transmission efficiency, and enable more clean energy use throughout the region.”

The new West-Wide Governance Pathways Initiative proposal was developed through a collaborative process that has involved stakeholders from across the region, including utilities and consumer advocates. The initiative began last July with a letter from multiple state regulatory commissioners to the Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB) and Committee on Regional Electric Power Cooperation (CREPC), calling for the creation of an entity that could serve as a means for delivering a market that includes all states in the Western Interconnection, with independent governance.

The proposal released today outlines three steps to create such an entity. The first step calls for making substantive changes, within the scope of current law, to the independence of the Western Energy Imbalance Market’s (WEIM) Governing Body. The next step would be to create a new, independent regional organization that could leverage existing market infrastructure to minimize costs. These steps would enable the third step of enabling a full suite of market services.

The establishment of a regional market across all 11 Western states in the Western Interconnection would maximize energy customer benefits by providing greater market transparency, improved reliability, enhanced access to diverse energy resources, and increased opportunities for renewable energy integration.