On April 30, 2020, the UTC hosted a Market Stakeholder Work Group virtual webinar to talk about the basics of energy markets and transmission.
First, Rick Link from PacifiCorp talked about Integrated Resource Planning and how utilities need to look ahead at what resources will be available in the coming years.
Then, Ravi Aggarwal from Bonneville Power Administration gave an overview of how transmission works, including considerations and limitations of the system. He mentioned that BPA accounts for about 28% of the electric power consumed within the Northwest region. During the Q and A on his presentation, Ravi said that climate change is affecting electricity usage and that they are seeing increased load demands during the summer months as they get longer and hotter.
After lunch, Sarah Edmonds from Portland General Electric spoke about the differences between a contracted path for electricity versus the physics of electricity. Physics dictate that an electron will always favor the path of least resistance but if you are contracted to get electricity from point A to point B, then it can present challenges. She talked about Open Access Transmission Tariffs or OATTs, which represent a contract path approach, versus Regional Transmission Operators or RTOs, which represent a flow-based approach.
Finally, both Jeff Spires of Powerex and Tim Belden of Energy GPS talked about bilateral markets, which involve one buyer and one seller trading at a negotiated price. They also talked about the different ways that energy can be traded including manually over the phone or electronically between buyers and sellers.
To learn more about UTC webinars or to participate in a future virtual workshop, click here.