RTO for U.S. Northeast 'Do-able', PJM Chief Says
LCG, July 25, 2001The chairman of the PJM Interconnection said yesterday that the independent system operators in the U.S. Northeast were on track to combining their operations into a regional transmission organization.The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 11 ordered the New York Independent System Operator, PJM, PJM West, Northeast ISO and New England ISO to form a single RTO."I think that's do-able," Phillip Harris told reporters at a briefing covering a closed door hearing held Monday before FERC Administrative Law Judge Peter Young. Officials of all four ISOs met to begin 45 days of negotiations aimed at forming a single Northwest RTO."We can't solve all of the issues, but we can come up with a plan" during that time, Harris said.Separately, PPL Corp., which has operations in PJM, Northeast ISO and New York ISO areas, said it supports a Northeast ISO as a "significant step toward establishing a reliable and properly functioning wholesale electricity market."FERC has said the PJM system which serves Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland could serve as a model for regional organizations nationwide, but the agency has turned down requests by to New York and Northeast ISOs to retain their status as separate independent system operators.PPL tempered its enthusiasm for PJM, saying the organization has "significant problems with its markets and structures that must be resolved" before it could absorb the other ISOs.Earlier this year, FERC proposed that there be four regional RTOs covering the U.S., but Harris said their could be as many as 10. He also endorsed the PJM model, saying "The technology is there to make it happen," adding "it's hard to find something bigger than what we're doing."
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