In tales of old, it was just a matter of finding the bottle, rubbing it the right way, and VOILA! (em out came the genie to grant our wishes. But that myth hasn't worked to fully open up transmission (em at least not to date. Some say the devil is in the details, but these details are truly devilish. They've proven more difficult to resolve than some of the real power-flow "bottlenecks" that can occur on the transmission system.
It might have been challenging enough to grow transmission access and usage if access was the only significant new entitlement granted by the 1992 Energy Policy Act (EPAct). However, EPAct also accelerated the growth of power marketers, brokers, and exempt wholesale generators, not to mention the multitude of public and private reform proposals (em including industry restructuring, retail wheeling, electricity futures contracts, and regional transmission groups. All are dependent in some way on transmission access.
Any proper evaluation of new industry features must involve an understanding of, and sensitivity to, the important technical factors implicit in implementing transmission access. First, there are choices to be made, concerning:
s market-driven pools
s bilateral contracts
s financial instruments
s wheeling charges.
These choices, in turn, include technical factors such as:
s power system planning
s real-time operations
s after-the-fact activities
s data on all of the above.
These technical factors suggest ways in which engineering-based solutions might relieve some of the decisionmaking bottlenecks and eventually increase potential benefits from transmission access and use.