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The impact of coordination on wholesale market participation: The case of the U.S. electricity industry

Theodore J. Kury

Utilities Policy, 2015, vol. 32, issue C, 38-44

Abstract: Coordination costs in a wholesale electricity market are a relevant public policy consideration. The mitigation of coordination costs, all else equal, should increase participation in the marketplace. Since Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 888 was issued in 1996, the level of trading activity in bulk electricity markets has increased significantly. In 1999, FERC issued Order 2000 to advance the role of regional transmission organizations (RTOs) in the restructured marketplace for wholesale electricity. RTOs have the potential to reduce the coordination costs, while also having the countervailing effect of causing market participants to incur compliance costs. This paper utilizes the diversity of the United States electricity market and a panel data set representing electric utilities for the period 1990–2009 to study the effects that RTOs have had on wholesale electricity exchange. The paper finds that the presence of a transparent wholesale marketplace for electricity has the effect of increasing participation, but this participation is uneven across types of electric utilities. Greater participation is seen for investor-owned and larger utilities. The results have important implications for policy aimed at wholesale markets and the transmission organizations, as the opportunities afforded by transparency may not be uniformly distributed across all market participants.

Keywords: Wholesale electricity markets; Market transparency; Market participation; Regional transmission organizations (RTOs); Independent system operators (ISOs) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L14 L22 L94 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2014.12.005

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