Renewable power is gravitating toward organized wholesale electricity markets that improve reliability and open doors to diverse resources, including renewable energy and infrastructure development. Those are the findings of a new ‘2009 State of the Markets Report’ issued by the Independent System Operator/Regional Transmission Organization Council (IRC), which represents North America's 10 electric grid operators.
In the report, the grid operators say their analysis reveals that organized competitive markets are shattering barriers for renewable and demand response resources; creating new efficiencies in plant operations; significantly improving grid reliability; sending clear, timely and transparent pricing signals; and expanding regional planning.
Grid operators also say ISO/RTO wholesale electricity markets support the development of renewable resources, resulting in a fourfold increase of wind capacity being added to the nation's interconnected electric transmission system since 2004.
Wind generation capacity of 21,254 MW, or nearly 80% of the total wind capacity in the country, operated in ISO/RTO regions in 2008. Wind forecasting tools have improved as well, resulting in improved unit commitment and dispatch efficiency.
According to the study, ISO/RTO efforts have also resulted in a total of 31,695 MW of available demand response in North America, up from 17,146 MW in 2006 – an 85% increase in available resources on which to draw on in times of need.
In addition, the report says, large-scale transmission projects across multiple transmission systems have been completed or initiated in The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, PJM Interconnection, ISO New England and The Electric Reliability Council of Texas over the last several years.
To read the report, visit isorto.org.