Western Grid Regionalization Issues

July 24, 2019 5:30 pm — 7:00 pm
San Francisco, CA (and teleconference)

Sponsored by Farella Braun + Martell LLP, Environmental Law Institute, and Stanford Alumni/Stanford Professionals in Energy

Our expert panel discussed the risks and benefits of expanding a regional power market for the Western United States. Would such a regional power market reduce costs, allow better integration of renewables, and more efficient use of transmission, or could it lead to loss of state control by California and other states, including control of renewable energy goals and increased use of coal?

  • Governance: Who should oversee operation of the market, as the Western states look to integrate their grids more closely together? How do we create a new regional institutional framework?
  • Resource planning: What happens when we combine markets between states like California and Oregon that have ambitious renewable goals and the coal-rich interior Mountain states? Will individual states still have autonomy to maintain different policies, if their resources are in a market together where they compete on price?  
  • Transmission: Who will bear the cost of the new infrastructure that will be needed to access remote renewables from the resource-rich interior, such as Montana and New Mexico wind? 
  • Costs and Benefits:  Would a unified grid provide access to lower cost energy and reduce the need for reserves?

Matt LeCar, Principal, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (Moderator)
Mike Florio, Senior Fellow, Gridworks
Jack Moore, Director, E3
Carl Zichella, Senior Advocate, Natural Resources Defense Council