Twenty-five years since the passage of the Energy Policy Act, HEPG continues to serve as the key incubator of concepts that have shaped many aspects of the North American electricity market.
At HEPG plenary sessions, regulators, policy-makers, and industry leaders test ideas, hear comprehensive analysis of challenges, and address the consequences of different approaches to address them.
The next session of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group on Tuesday, April 20, will focus on FERC Market Expansion and RTO Policy with former FERC Chair Pat Wood, CAISO President and CEO Elliot Mainzer, MISO Executive VP for Markets Richard Doying, and Jeff Dennis, General Counsel for Advanced Energy Economy.
Order 2000 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission set the regulatory foundation of today’s organized electricity markets. While policies of wholesale competition drove early interests in markets, the growth of intermittent and potential entrance of distributed resources and associated policy changes are driving market interest in further wholesale market development. Do these changes offer greater incentives to utilities to join RTO’s and/or provide the FERC with greater authority to further incentivize or even compel RTO membership? While PJM, MISO and SPP saw membership expansion in the early 2000’s, interest in full RTO membership has largely given way to interest in expansion of non-RTO markets such as the CAISO’s Energy Imbalance Market (EIM), SPP’s Western Energy Imbalance Service (WEIS) market and the potential Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM). Will the interest in those services lead to RTO expansion and/or consolidation, or could it lead to RTO’s having to offer cafeteria-style unbundled services? The Commission has focused many market policy advancements and obligations to RTO markets only (Order 2222, Order 841). While studies generally show the benefits of full RTO participation, is there an industry reluctance to take the full step into RTO membership? How have the drivers of RTO membership changed since Order 2000? What is the future of regional electricity markets? Have EIMs surpassed RTOs as the model of choice? How has the growth of EIM’s affected incentives to join an existing or create a new RTO? Has Order 1000 replaced the benefits of the RTO planning process for transmission development envisioned under Order 2000? How should FERC be incenting RTO membership or regional market participation? Should FERC reform the OATT to require transmission access to an EIM?