Description: The electric power industry in the United States is undergoing a slow but nonetheless dramatic transformation. It is a transformation driven by technology, economics, and politics; one that will move the industry from its traditional mode of centralized system operations and regulated rates guaranteeing long-run cost recovery, to decentralized investment and operational decisionmaking and to customer access to true spot market prices. This transformation will revolutionize the technical, procedural, and informational requirements of the industry. A major milestone in this process occurred on December 20, 1995, when the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved its long-awaited electric utility industry restructuring decision. The decision directed the three major California investor-owned utilities to reorganize themselves by the beginning of 1998 into a supply pool, at the same time selling up to a half of their thermal generating plants. Generation will be bid into this pool and will be dispatched by an independent system operator. The dispatch could potentially involve bidders not only from California but from throughout western North America and include every conceivable generating technology and scale of operation. At the same time, large customers and aggregated customer groups will be able to contract independently for their supply and the utilities will be required to offer a real-time pricing tariff based on the pool price to all their customers, including residential. In related proceedings concerning competitive wholesale power markets, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has recognized that real-time information flows between buyers and sellers are essential to efficient equitable market operation. The purpose of this meeting was to hold discussions on the information technologies that will be needed in the new, deregulated electric power industry.
Date: August 1, 1996
Creator: Pickle, S.; Marnay, C. & Olken, F.
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