Posts

Policymakers Have a Habit of Making Inefficient Markets

“An RTO is an industrial purchasing bureau, similar to the Soviet construction.” RTO = regional transmission organization, and it is being “studied” as something to implement in the Carolinas, if not the whole Southeast. The…

An Energy Choice – Right Thing or Red Tape Thing?

Let’s get more layers of bureaucracy. Great idea. The Carolinas are looking at that as a possibility for the electric system. It is even part of some political campaigns. I see some regional transmission organizations (RTO) growing into…

Today's Energy Market Doesn't Need Square-Peg Solutions

Square pegs, round holes. We all know the phrase, a common-sense allusion to unworkable solutions. That phrase applies to regional transmission organizations – RTOs – in the power industry. RTOs have proven themselves unwieldy bureaucracies…

“Strip Away the Blue-sky Spin” in the RTO Debate

Having a grid operator makes a lot of sense according to one energy expert. That grid operator is an RTO – regional transmission organization. There’s a catch, though. “So far nobody has figured out how to do it the right way,” says…

A Single State RTO is South Carolina’s One Car Parade

Have you ever seen a one-car parade? Get ready. South Carolina takes its first step in an electric market restructuring process. It could change how South Carolinians get their electricity, how much electricity, and what they pay. A legislative…

Throw the BS Flag on Part of the Energy Debate

Someone needs to throw the BS flag on a part of the energy debate in the Carolinas. Consider it thrown. Last week the South Carolina legislature’s committee to investigate a regional transmission organization (RTO) convened. Perhaps investigate…

South Carolina’s Flirtation with RTOs Begins. Watch-out Where this Leads

There was a legislative committee meeting in Columbia Thursday. It didn’t garner headlines; it wasn’t on the evening news.  Not even a Tweet or peep from the usual Capital reporters who follow such things report out in 280 characters or…

How to Have a (Cold) Free Lunch in Energy

Nuance is missing in the energy debate in the Carolinas and other states. The either/or mentality hurts us at a time when discussing finance, technology, science, and social needs would help us all. A recent letter to an NC State publication…

It’s Simple – the Electric System in the Southeast Works

Simplicity counts; complexity adds up. That’s the lesson from the electric regulation world. In fact, one state utility commissioner told me he hoped one of my columns would urge companies and governments to keep processes simple so they…

Texas Power and RTO Update: Lots to Learn

Since the February deep freeze in Texas there have been some changes in its energy system. As the state slides into another winter let’s check what’s been happening. Two Texas laws (HB2586 and SB1281) went into effect because of the winter…