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In Northeast, One or More RTOs?

In Northeast, One or More RTOs?

Electric market participants in the Northeast last week resolved to further explore whether the region should become one broad regional transmission organization (RTO) or whether it should be broken up into smaller RTOs.

At the forefront is whether the three existing Northeast independent system operators (ISOs) --- New England, New York and Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland --- should team up to create one major RTO or form individual RTOs. This issue will have to be resolved in time for the ISOs to file at FERC in January 2001.

At the RTO workshop in Philadelphia last week, the Northeast market participants formed several working subgroups to address interregional coordination issues, such as transmission operations, business practices, and planning and expansion.

The ISOs proposed that each working group would meet at four- to six-week intervals, and that a broad, interregional symposium would be held next fall to take stock of the status of the collaborative efforts.

It was made clear that no RTO proposals for the Northeast-Mid-Atlantic areas were off the table for future discussion, and that there was no predetermined organizational form. Information about the northeastern regional collaboration effort will be posted on the web site at as it develops.

Susan Parker

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