The Texas PUC has approved a plan creating the nation's first independent system operator (ISO) from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The ISO will be governed by an 18-member board, with three members each from IOUs, municipal utilities, electric co-ops and river authorities, transmission-dependent utilities, IPPs, and power marketers.
A key part of the ISO plan is an electronic transmission information network (ETIN), which ensures equal access to transmission system information, such as available transmission capacity, product offerings, and prices. ISO expenses will be funded by all wholesale market participants through membership fees, fees for use of the ETIN, transaction fees for unplanned transmission service, and an assessment based on the load each utility serves. The plan includes a budget cap of $6 million, and only a special, super-majority vote may change the cap. The ISO is expected to be fully operational by June 1997. t
Lori A. Burkhart is an associate legal editor of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY.