The Role of ISOs & RTOs in Bringing Renewable Energy Online

Three reports were released earlier this week by the ISO/RTO Council (IRC) highlighting the role of North America’s 10 Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) in the electricity markets they administer.

One report, titled, Increasing Demand Response and Renewable Energy Resources: How ISOs and RTOs are helping meet important policy objectives, looks at the importance of these organizations in integrating more renewable energy into the nation’s power grid.

Renewable resources, including hydroelectric generation, currently supply approximately nine percent of the energy provided by the members of the IRC. According to the report, the markets operated by the ISO and RTOs are enabling significant growth and development of renewable resources.

Renewable resources represent 44% of the 300,000 megawatts currently being proposed in the 10 ISO and RTO regions. According to the report, wholesale markets facilitate this development by fostering an environment that is open to investment by all parties, providing price transparency that informs the developer, operating a 5- to 15-minute dispatch that reduces integration costs of renewable resources such as wind power, and managing stakeholder planning processes that make it possible to build the transmission needed to bring renewable energy to market.

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