- Jul 11, 2021 12:04 pm GMT
I cannot entirely agree with the author bashing organized markets. But it is important, in my opinion, to hear both sides of the story. The story here is, one side (the 9 Ex-FERC Commissioners) argues we need more transmission and organized markets and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) are the way to go. The other side argues, perhaps that's the author's point, that there is mixed evidence that organized markets are the medicine for every ailment in the industry, specifically on carbon emissions. Without any carbon regulation, carbon emissions are down at most RTOs due to, in part, more renewable interconnections.
My view is that RTOs must be independent, independent of transmission owner and state regulator influence.
Yes, RTOs must be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. What do I mean by that? RTOs must operate a reliable grid and make room for new technologies that are cost-effective today compared to 15-20 years in their market participation models. They must operate the current market platform while making room for new market platforms. Would a transmission owner shut down an entire neighborhood for an extended period to make way for a new substation? No, the utility transfers power from another feeder until the new substation is up and running.
I worked at an RTO for 15 years. I know what it feels like to be outside the RTO, and I have experience working inside the RTO. Healthy skepticism on RTOs and RTO employee salaries is perhaps warranted, and I did benefit from RTOs employee benefits. So, let us not throw away organized markets. Market operators provide wholesale energy price transparency, provide a forum for stakeholders to discuss market reforms, and have the mandate to plan for the future grid. We need the rest of the US under organized markets.
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