Restructuring Today
April 27, 2006

ICC's Wright urges RTOs to promote value or lose backing

RTOs need to demonstrate that they're delivering benefits and controlling costs if they want to keep the "fairly strong support" they've gathered among Midwest state regulators, Illinois Commerce Commissioner Kevin Wright told the NEMA conference yesterday.

          State support is likely to erode otherwise, Wright warned.

          The ICC has been "very vocal" about getting greater access to information from RTOs' market monitors.

          Illinois as one of the "seams states" -- states that include PJM and Midwest ISO utilities -- is most interested in seeing the PJM-Midwest ISO single market evolve, including single dispatch.

          The RTOs claim that single dispatch would be cost-prohibitive, Wright explained, but he believes RTO benefits would be much stronger.

          PSCs should "get behind" wholesale competition, Wright urged, even if they don't support retail competition.

          Wholesale and retail competition are linked, he reminded, and he urged FERC to do its job to boost transparency and open access in wholesale markets.

          State regulators, he added, don't have the authority to ensure healthy wholesale competition.

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