To ensure generation "open access" in a truly competitive electric industry, transmission systems must be operated in a non-preferential manner. The term "ISO" (Independent System Operator) indicates the general institutional arrangement whereby regional transmission systems are managed such that ownership interests (in both generation and transmission) cannot interfere with the rules of a competitive market.
Recently it has become apparent that ISOs in addition to managing the high voltage system are also the primary operational arbiter of electric industry competition. Reliability and operational fairness -- on a day-to-day basis -- as well as longer-term issues of grid expansion and prevention/alleviation of market power are all issues that ISOs will likely be called upon to manage.
The transition from a monopoly to a competitive industry structure poses fundamental questions to the design, operation and implementation of transmission system practices. This consortium, entitled "New Concepts and Software for Competitive Power Systems: Operations and Management" has been designed to explore many of these fundamental issues. The table below lists the tasks the consortium will explore. Please refer to the linked consortium proposal for a description of each task.
Modeling of competitive behavior and price dynamics on the energy market.
At present, sponsors of the consortium include: ABB, Constellation Power Source, Electricité de France (EdF), and TransÉnergie U.S. Ltd. (a subsidiary of Hydro Québec), and the U.S. DOE's Energy Information Administration. This consortium follows upon an smaller earlier ISO consortium which ran for two years, until September 1998, led by Marija Ilic, and Prof. Francisco Galiana at McGill University (Montréal, Québec). The sponsors of the first consortium included EdF, EPRI, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and Allegheny Power.