FERC To Convene RTO Conference This Month

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will convene a technical conference later this month that will examine interregional coordination issues between regional transmission organizations (RTOs). Although specifics on the conference remain somewhat sketchy, it appears that the issue of seams in the broader context of RTO formation will be a key topic of discussion at the gathering. The conference has been scheduled for June 19.

At the Commission's biweekly meeting last Wednesday, Commissioner William Massey commended FERC Chairman Curt Hebert for scheduling the conference, calling the move "very forward thinking on this Commission's part." He noted that in organizing such a conference, FERC is essentially responding to a petition filed by the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) and a number of other market participants. "It is a good thing to do, and I commend you for scheduling it and look forward to working with you on it," Massey said.

Commissioner Linda Breathitt also voiced her support for the conference. She pointed out that she has previously stated that seams are becoming as important as scope and configuration for RTOs. In the GridSouth RTO case, FERC said that the pleading made by EPSA and several other groups asking the Commission to look at seams issues and interregional cooperation had merit, Breathitt noted.

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