I am writing to express my concern over the Feb. 1 publication of the article, "Why Applicants Should Use Computer Simulation Models to Comply With FERC's New Merger Policy" (p. 22). The authors, Mark W. Frankena and John R. Morris, have used the editorial pages of PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY to deliver a highly commercial message promoting their preferred computer model at the expense of several other software packages, which they specifically name. We are disappointed that PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY would allow the authors to discredit the products of other companies with unsubstantiated claims and generalizations.
First, the authors state that the disadvantage of load flow/dispatch models such as MAPS is evident: "They require large amounts of data, many of which are not publicly available." In fact, the data required by MAPS is precisely the reason why the model delivers increased accuracy over transportation models, which do not take into account the physical characteristics of electricity. Contrary to what the authors state, this information is available at the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in FERC Form 715. At GE, we have the data needed to analyze most of the NERC regions in the U.S. [regional reliability councils of the North American Electric Reliability Council]. The statement that the detailed modeling "may not produce better results than obtained using simpler models," may be countered by the statement that it almost always does, and for transactions involving millions of dollars, this improved accuracy is essential.