Duke University

To establish a multidisciplinary research collaboration studying the role of regional transmission organizations and independent systems operators in electricity markets

  • Amount $513,839
  • City Durham, NC
  • Investigator Katherine Konschnik
  • Year 2019
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Energy and Environment

Regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) are key parts of the U.S. electricity system. Although RTOs and ISOs operate wholesale electricity markets that serve about two-thirds of U.S. electricity customers, there is very little research comparing how these institutions work, what influence stakeholder groups have on their behavior, or which aspects of these institutions might be portable to similar organizations. This grant funds a collaborative project, co-led by Kate Konschnik, who directs the Climate and Energy program at Duke University and associate professor Seth Blumsack of Pennsylvania State University, to undertake a set of studies to explore these and related questions associated with the governance, structure, and operation of RTOs and ISOs. Konschnik and Blumsack have assembled a multidisciplinary group of researchers from economics, law, public policy, energy systems operations, and engineering to contribute to this effort. The project will produce approximately 10 academic research articles across multiple fields, in addition to associated policy briefs or white papers for broad dissemination to a wide range of stakeholders. Grant funding will cover graduate student participation, direct support for research expenses, and bringing participating scholars together to ensure project coordination.

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