Three independent system operators — ISO New England, The NewYork ISO, and PJM Interconnection — which have been workingtogether to improve power supply reliability, recently addedanother ISO to their cooperation pact.

Last week’s signing of a memorandum of understanding added theOntario Independent Electricity Market Operator (IMO) andrecognized the international character of the deregulatingelectricity marketplace.

“The signing of this initiative sets the foundation forinternational cooperation. It is a fine example of the commitmentof four adjacent ISOs to develop a seamless regional market forwholesale electricity trading that benefits all marketparticipants,” said Dave Goulding, CEO of the IMO.

The four ISOs were established from monopoly power pools inresponse to provincial (Ontario) and federal (U.S.) legislationcalling for increased competition and efficiency. Theirresponsibilities include the operation of their region’s bulk powergrids, administration of the regional wholesale electricity marketsand management of regional transmission reservation systems.

Better communication among the ISOs will enhance reliability andencourage robust competitive markets by simplifying transactionsand facilitating interregional monitoring. Collectively, the fourISOs have a generating capacity of 146,000 MW.

The IMO is responsible for overseeing the operation of theOntario bulk power system and will administer the competitivewholesale electricity market for the province when it opens late inthe year 2000. Ontario has installed generating capacity ofapproximately 30,000 MW.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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