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ISO/RTO Markets: Building a Common IT Platform

Independent system operators and regional transmission organizations recognize the value in having a common IT architecture.

Fortnightly Magazine - August 2007

specific technologies. Although the architecture prescribes where information is transferred, and supporting standards detail what information should be transferred, implementation options are intentionally left open and flexible.

The final phase in the Enterprise Architecture Standardization initiative will be for the task force to help develop plans for the ISOs/RTOs to adopt and implement the architecture and standards. The goal is to have the first set of standards in place as a requirement for the next generation of application designs. As early as this year, software solution providers will be expected to comply with a new software-architecture standard.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Modern life depends on a reliable, cost-effective supply of electricity. Otherwise, business grinds to a halt and the everyday lives of residential customers come to a standstill. The complexity of designing a standard architecture for developing and deploying critical ISO/RTO-computing capabilities may at first seem a little daunting, but in the long-run, the benefits of the EAS outweigh the cost, time, and effort to implement it.

The EAS initiative will result in efficiencies. Developing a common software interface may appear more complicated than developing a common AC-plug configuration, but the goals are the same—enabling otherwise incompatible products to work together seamlessly, thereby reducing the complexity and cost to develop and install them.

Creating a standard for something as ordinary as an AC plug made for safer, more reliable consumer electric devices and streamlined their design and manufacture. Similarly, the time is right for creating a common language among the critical software tools needed to deliver a reliable, competitively priced supply of electricity through today’s integrated power grids and wholesale market structures.

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