Friday, February 27, 2009

New York State Assembly Committees to Hold Hearings on NYISO Wholesale Electricity Pricing

The New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Energy and the Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions will be holding joint hearings on the wholesale electricity pricing of the New York State Independent System Operator (NYISO) at the Chancellors' Hall of the State Education Building in Albany on March 5 at 10:30.

The Notice of the Hearing states:

In 1996, the Public Service Commission issued Opinion No. 96-12. This order for "de-regulation" called for the transition to a wholesale electricity market structure which, among other results, directed traditional utilities to divest themselves of generation and created a wholesale electricity market coordinated by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO). The price of electricity would no longer be determined by the cost of generating it, but by a market-based system. The goal was that electricity prices would be controlled by rigorous retail competition, promoting lower prices, efficiency and new generation. It is unclear whether this has been achieved.

The NYISO is a not-for-profit corporation, approved and overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that began operating in 1999 to administer the state's wholesale electricity markets. This hearing will examine the policies and practices of the NYISO related to the market clearing price on the electric commodity cost to consumers.

For a review of some NYISO issues see:

States that "restructured" like New York, allowing utilities to sell off their power plants and buy electricity for customers in wholesale power markets, have seen higher increases than states which retained traditional state regulation over power generation, and some have been conducting hearings and looking for new ways to bring electricity rates under control. See Pennsylvania Utility Regulator Holds Hearings on Flaws in Wholesale Power Markets.

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