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Electronic Trading: Toward a Mature Power Market

Fortnightly Magazine - November 15 1997

system. Companies that do business off the system now must post those transactions on OASIS within an hour, according to Peter Hirsch, with EPRI's Power Delivery Group.

It's "surprising" to see how much next-hour market activity has occurred, Bill Booth says, chief of market oversight and information at the FERC. He says OASIS wasn't designed to handle the current volume. The demand didn't seem to exist for those types of transactions, he says.

OASIS is evolving to meet the needs of its users, however. Early next year, implementation of OASIS will move from the current Phase I to Phase IA. According to Hirsch, the updated system will:

•  allow buyers and sellers of energy to negotiate prices other than the price that is offered online;

•  allow users to link ancillary and transmission services in one request;

•  provide dynamic (em or automatic (em notification when there is a change in a customer's request status; and

•  better define capacity type, using standardized terms.

Phase II likely will be implemented in late 1998 or early 1999, Hirsch says. That phase will integrate energy reservations with scheduling and transmission reservations, a process known as "tagging."A report on the future direction of OASIS by the EPRI-led How Working Group was due to the FERC Oct. 31.

The North American Electric Reliability Council also is studying the issues of tagging and transaction management. Though the two groups are looking at the issues from "different directions," according to EPRI's Hirsch, it's possible their two visions of the electronic future of the electric utility industry may merge.

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