This testimony occurred before the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by 10 researchers from RTOGov. The researchers suggested that the new Office of Public Participation could help the public in understanding the significance of RTOs and the opportunities to engage in their decision-making processes.
Evaluating Options for Enhancing Wholesale Competition and Implications for the Southeastern United States
Given stated stakeholder clean energy and consumer goals, this paper offers a way to evaluate options for enhancing competition, compared to how utilities traditionally operate the electricity grid. The focus here is on wholesale transactions between generators and utilities serving end-use customers. These utilities then sell electricity at retail to their customers, and in many regions including the Southeast, they are state-regulated monopolies responsible for serving their customers at least cost.
This case study lays out the four Southern proposals submitted to FERC, and chronicles how this directive played out in the South. In a sidebar, the case study also describes the retail competition vision being explored in North Carolina during the same time period. While the Southern Grids did not launch, the GridSouth (in the Carolinas) and the GridFlorida proposals reflect a concerted effort by the participating utilities to explore market creation, as well sustained engagement – and some support – by regulators and stakeholders.
The RTOGov project seeks to explore the links between decision-making processes and outcomes in our power markets. Led by researchers at Duke University and funded through a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, RTOGov is a growing network of researchers exploring the most important decision-making bodies never heard of in the United States.
Jennifer Chen, Senior Counsel with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, testifies before the U.S. House of Representatives' Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on June 26, 2019, about how wholesale electricity markets regulated by FERC and operated by regional transmission organizations (RTOs) are a key puzzle piece to decarbonizing the U.S. power sector.