Advanced Energy Perspectives

Prusha Hasan and Dylan Reed

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How Wholesale Electricity Markets Work – and Don’t

Posted by Prusha Hasan and Dylan Reed

Oct 16, 2019 2:58:08 PM

FERCbarriers-730

Two-thirds of the nation’s wholesale electricity sales occur in a competitive market managed by a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) or Independent System Operator (ISO), with over 200 million customers in these areas and over $120 billion in annual energy transactions taking place. Under the Federal Power Act, these markets are overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which ultimately determines the rules for how wholesale electricity is bought and sold in the marketplace. RTOs/ISOs develop the market rules that dictate whether and how energy resources can participate and compete. Wholesale electricity markets should allow all resources to compete on price and performance, as the Federal Power Act requires that the rates, terms, and conditions of service governing wholesale competitive markets be “just and reasonable” and not grant any “undue preference or advantage.” Many market rules, however, are outdated, having been designed with older technologies in mind. Those rules can favor incumbent technologies and disadvantage newer and more innovative energy options – that is, advanced energy.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Wholesale Markets

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