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Thomas Edison built the electric utility industry virtually from scratch out...
Transmission & ISOs
RTO West. Six Western utilitiesAvista Corp., Montana Power Co., Portland General Electric, Puget Sound Energy, Nevada Power Co., and Sierra Pacific Power Co. joined to file a plan with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to form an independent for-profit transmission company, known as TransConnect, that would lease transmission lines from the six companies and in turn belong to a planned new regional transmission organization, known as RTO West, which would operate in an eight-state region. .
GridSouth RTO. CP&L Energy, Duke Energy, and SCANA Corp. proposed jointly to form GridSouth Transco LLC, a for-profit investor-owned transmission company independent from the three founding companies that would also purport to qualify as a regional transmission organization, or RTO, in the Southeast United States.
The companies had announced their intent to form GridSouth in July, and had held a series of public meetings in August and September to develop input from stakeholders. But state regulators in the region have not yet implemented retail supply choice for electric customerswhich may affect RTO plans.
As GridSouth explained in its proposal, "in light of the status of industry restructuring in the Carolinas, the applicants are not in a position to divest their transmission assets to GridSouth at this time. ... In these circumstances, the realistic option ... is to transfer functional control ... to an RTO." See www.gridsouth.com.
Recalled Capacity. Admitting that the required software modifications are "not technically feasible at this time," the New York ISO has put off filing a permanent set of tariffs governing recalls of installed capacity (ICAP) from out of state, and instead had informed the FERC that it will continue its transitional ICAP market design beyond the original Oct. 31 sunset date, until the end of the ISO's "capability year," on April 30, 2001.
As the ISO explained, "NY ISO's software is comprised of many different computer programs that work together in an integrated fashion. A modification in one program inevitably requires adjustments to other programs. Proposed modifications ... require intensive testing and modeling."
Under the transitional ICAP design, the ISO may recall electric capacity that suppliers have committed out of state paying the higher of the recall price set by bid at the supplier's discretion, or the real-time locational marginal price. In the ideal case, the ISO recalls increments of such external capacity on a least-cost basis.
However, as the ISO has explained, "despite [our] best efforts, NY ISO does not have the software capability to evaluate automatically all the recall bids submitted by ICAP suppliers who enter into external transactions."
The net effect of continuing the transitional ICAP market through the winter is that the ISO will continue to follow its stop-gap language in tariff section 5.12.7, which states the NY ISO will recall energy on a least-cost-bid basis only "when automated evaluation of recall bids is available." .
Scheduling Imbalances. Led by the city of Anaheim, and supported by other public power interests, five municipal electric utilities in southern California asked the FERC to strike down the practice followed by the