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Clearing Up / Bearing Down

[March 1, 2019 / No. 1891]

Third Annual NW Power Markets Forum Set for May 15 in Portland

NewsData and CJB Energy Economics are pleased to announce our third annual "Northwest Wholesale Power Markets" conference, coming May 15 to Portland, Ore.

We invite and encourage you to join us and other energy-industry colleagues, to enhance your understanding of regional power markets, including current conditions, evolutionary forces, trends and future prospects.

This year's event is subtitled "Transition in Progress," recognizing that many changes affecting power markets are shifting from discussion to implementation. In other words, the future is arriving.

Numerous significant developments underway are likely to reshape the regional power system, including:

  • Proposed major legislation under consideration in both Washington (clean-energy standard) and Oregon (cap and trade) would further decarbonize their electric systems.

  • Major coal-fired plants are retiring, starting in 2020 with the closures of Boardman in Oregon and one unit of Centralia in Washington. Nearly 3,000 MW of coal-fired capacity serving Northwest loads are currently planned for retirement by 2025.

  • As those coal units cease to operate, policies and plans indicate natural gas, renewables, energy efficiency and energy-storage technologies will fill the emerging gaps.

  • With the demise of coal plants and rise of variable renewables, attention is growing on how to maintain regional resource adequacy and system reliability.

  • The Western EIM continues to expand, and the California ISO is exploring day-ahead market enhancements. Meanwhile, the prospect of a regionwide grid operator has stalled but not disappeared.

  • Natural gas and power prices on the wholesale market continue to be relatively low.

  • Overall electricity demand is flattening, although with pockets of local growth.

As these and other developments unfold, this year's Northwest Wholesale Power Markets conference will take an integrated look at key topics.

Sessions are planned on the following:

  • Current Power Market Conditions: Demand, Supply and Prices

  • Legislative and Regulatory Policy Changes: Predictions About Impacts on Wholesale Power Markets

  • Impending Changes to the Regional Load-Resource Mix

  • Resource Adequacy in a Reconfigured System

  • Progress Report on Western EIM, Enhanced Day-Ahead Market and Community Choice Aggregation in California

  • Repurposing the Regional Grid

  • Senior Executives Fireside Chat on The Power Market

We are assembling top-notch speakers for the conference, including thought leaders and expert analysts.

In addition to opportunities to gain information and insights from panelists, the conference will offer audience participation/questions and networking.

The conference will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, at University Place Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Portland. Continental breakfast and lunch is included.

For more details—including registration—please visit the conference website.

For questions or more information, please contact me (; 206-285-4848 x 204) or Charlie Black of CJB Energy Economics (; 425-765-3321).

We look forward to seeing you May 15 for an educational and enlightening day on Northwest power markets! [Mark Ohrenschall]

Bearing Down is excerpted from NewsData's Clearing Up publication. If you aren't a current subscriber, see for yourself how NewsData reporters put events in an accurate and meaningful context -- request a sample of Clearing Up.

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NW Wholesale Power Markets Conference: Transition in Progress--Wednesday, May 15, 2019, Portland, Ore.

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