El Paso Electric has signed an implementation agreement with the California Independent System Operator to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market in 2023, CAISO said. The agreement extends the real-time balancing market to 12 Western states. EPE is a regional utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to about 441,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000-square-mile area of the Rio Grande Valley in western Texas and southern New Mexico. "Our choice to join the Western EIM will help support a clean, green energy future and represents our commitment to fiscal responsibility for our customers while focusing on our mission to transform the energy landscape," EPE CEO Kelly Tomblin said in a written statement. "The EIM will allow EPE to leverage our interconnection to the electrical grid with neighboring markets to reduce cost and balance our energy generation with the real-time power needs of our customers, as well as integrate greater amounts of renewable energy."

Turlock Irrigation District on Feb. 5 issued a request for proposals to increase its renewable-resource portfolio by between 50 and 400 GWh annually from California or out-of-state resources fitting the criteria for the California Public Utilities Commission's Portfolio Content Category 1. TID seeks resources that can begin commercial operation between July 1, 2021, and Jan. 1, 2024. Competitive bids are due by March 19.

Water conservation is on par with, and sometimes exceeds, energy-efficiency programs in reducing electricity use, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and the University of California, Davis, said Feb. 4, citing a recent study. About 20 percent of California's electricity and 30 percent of its non-power-plant natural gas is used to move, treat and heat water, Edward Spang, an author of the study and assistant professor in the UC Davis Food Science and Technology Department and the Center for Water-Energy Efficiency, said in a news release. While Los Angeles and San Francisco get much of their water from gravity-driven sources that also generate electricity, other water sources in the state rely on a series of pumps to deliver water to consumers. The study found that LADWP's energy savings from its water-conservation programs (high-efficiency washing machines, toilets and irrigation systems, for example) is cost-competitive with the municipal utility's energy-efficiency programs that involve lighting, heat, air conditioning and refrigeration. "This study is highly relevant to both water and energy utilities, as well as government agencies with mandates to sustainably manage water supplies, achieve energy efficiency savings, and reduce GHG emissions," author Frank Loge, a professor in the UC Davis Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and director of the Center for Water-Energy Efficiency, said in the release.

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