THERE ARE NO FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS. Our systems are functional."
So said CEO Dennis Loughridge, of the California Power Exchange, in announcing nevertheless on Dec. 22 that the opening of the state's day-ahead electricity market, planned originally for Jan. 1, would be delayed because software and systems testing could not be completed satisfactorily.
"California's electron highway is the fifth largest in the world. We need to take the time to make the transfer¼ seamless," added Gary Heath, executive director for the state's electricity oversight board.
In a news conference held Dec. 29, Loughridge joined Jeffrey Tranen, CEO of the California Independent System Operator, to project a new March 31 startup - a date, said Tranen, "that we reasonably believe we can meet." Nevertheless, that date must remain contingent until the both Tranen and Loughridge, and the CEOs of the three affected utilities (PG&E, Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric) each certifies to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that "all of the necessary features" are in place to ensure "reliable grid operations" at the moment the ISO and PX commence operations.
You're probably thinking: "Does this mean I can bypass the CTC?"
Actually, it looks better than that. The three-month delay may end up going down as the ultimate win-win for consumers.
First, the calculation of the "nonbypassable" competition transition charge depends entirely on the PX price. No PX, no CTC.