Many IMEA departments work together to offer members state-of-the-art operational and technical services.
IMEA maintains a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week, state-of the art Operations Center staffed by highly skilled power supply professionals. The Operations Center monitors power supply and market conditions on a real time basis to maintain reliable and economic power supply to our members. The Operations Department alerts local officials of power dips and outages and works with the members and representatives from regional transmission-owning utilities serving the area to identify the exact location of downed lines or malfunctioning equipment and rectify the problem. In extreme conditions, IMEA Operations Center staff will assist the coordinators of the Illinois Municipal Utilities Association’s Mutual Aid Program in identifying systems in need of assistance from crews from other member municipalities and cooperatives to help in power restoration. The IMEA Operations Center is a key player on a team that makes Illinois municipal power utilities unparalleled in power delivery reliability.
Market and Resource Planners
On behalf of its members, IMEA’s Energy Markets and Settlements team explores current and future market and resource opportunities, which may result in future generation ownership or powerpurchase agreements; expanding demand response programs; and evaluating and procuring (when it is necessary or advantageous) Auction Revenue Rights (ARRs) and Financial Transmission Rights (FTRs) in the MISO and PJM Regional Transmission Organizations. Collectively, IMEA members can rely on the Agency to navigate, analyze and execute opportunities in these complex markets. In addition, as IMEA adds more renewable resources, renewable energy credits (RECs) generated from IMEA’s contracted resources are an increasing part of IMEA’s portfolio that the Energy Markets and Settlements team effectively manages, optimizes and tracks.
IMEA’s Information Systems Department helps Operations Center Power Services Coordinators monitor the status of every substation owned by IMEA’s members.
IMEA electrical engineers and technicians assist members with distribution system issues, including customer meter testing and troubleshooting, placement of power quality monitoring equipment and subsequent data analysis, infrared camera scans for troubleshooting and routine maintenance, and assistance with environmental permit recordkeeping and reporting. IMEA’s staff also coordinates with transmission providers (TPs) and members on fault current studies, system protection, switching, voltage and power factor issues, and new member delivery points. IMEA engineers perform and review distribution and transmission planning studies and provide critical technical support related to the review and negotiation of transmission service contracts.
The IMEA General Counsel and legal department staff advise and represent the Agency on all legal, regulatory and compliance matters in connection with the corporate, governmental and utility business operations functions of IMEA, including the management of IMEA’s participation in legal and regulatory proceedings, such as proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the direction of outside counsel retained to represent the Agency from time to time. The legal department assists in the negotiation and drafting of and manages the contracts that underlie almost every service the agency provides for its members, including the contracts with members and the contracts used by the agency to assemble a mix of resources and power procurement to meet the members’ full requirements and to deliver that power and energy to the members.
The legal department monitors the rates and tariffs of the Transmission Owners and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO), provides legal research, and works with the CEO and other departments to develop policies, programs and positions for IMEA and the members The legal department works to ensure its compliance with current laws and anticipated future regulations and to mitigate risks and prevent potential problems before they arise. This allows IMEA to focus on delivering reliable energy at low, stable prices. The legal department provides similar services to IPEA and IMUA.
In addition, the legal department is available as a resource to IMEA member communities, often providing assistance on a number of legal matters, such as questions on territorial service rights, electric code issues, net metering, Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) and other municipal statutes, such as the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act.
Local Backup and Emergency Generation
IMEA provides capacity and fuel payments for members that own local backup and emergency generation. This provides increased reliability to members with local generation to "keep the lights on" when there are power supply interruptions due to weather or other factors.