Western State Energy Offices Release Study on Market Options for the Western Electricity Grid

Source: Dennis Schroeder, NREL, 62200

At the culmination of a two-year project, the State Energy Offices of Utah, Idaho, Colorado, and Montana have released a roadmap for evaluating market expansion options in the West. Funded through the U.S. State Energy Program, the roadmap includes a technical report, which provides region-wide and state-specific technical evaluations of potential market outcomes and quantifies economic benefits, and a market and regulatory report, which examines how different potential market structures might facilitate achievement of the states’ energy policy objectives through a scorecard. The scorecard allows states to rank potential market configurations in achieving increased use of clean energy, reliable and affordable power, and the ability to retain state regulatory authority.

“Policy and technology changes are impacting energy markets across the United States, and the West is no exception,” said Thom Carter, Director of the Utah Office of Energy Development. “While commentators often refer to Western electricity markets as 'balkanized,' cooperation is the norm in the West. We are grateful to have contributed to this study to add to conversations well underway throughout the West.”  

“Colorado appreciates the support of DOE in bringing Western states together to discuss the potential of a Western electricity market to help enhance state’s achieving their energy goals and bringing benefits to customers,” said Will Toor, Executive Director of the Colorado Energy Office.

The lead team also included representatives from the Arizona Corporation Commission (the State Energy Office), the California Energy Commission, the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, the Oregon Governor’s Office and the Oregon Public Utilities Commission, the Washington State Energy Office, and the Wyoming Public Service Commission.