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GCPA Austin Luncheon: Priorities for the Evolution of the ERCOT Energy-Only Market

"Priorities for the Evolution of the ERCOT Energy-Only Marke"

Speaker: Susan Pope, Managing Director, FTI Consultin

The ERCOT market faces challenges that increasingly inhibit the competitive performance needed to sustain the “energy only” design. In particular, addressing large influx of renewable energy with artificially low pricing combined with an aging fleet of thermal generation will require market adjustments to ensure a stable market. Reforms are needed to (1) ensure accuracy of scarcity pricing mechanisms; (2) incorporate marginal transmission losses in the real time cost of serving customers across long distances; (3) reduce impact of “out of market” ISO actions and market rules; and (4) mitigate the impact of traditional transmission planning and cost allocation that inhibit competitive solution alternatives.

Susan Pope is a Managing Director with FTI Consulting based in Boston. She is in the energy practice in the Economic Consulting segment. Dr. Pope has 20 years of consulting experience in the electric power sector. She specializes in the economic and public policy analysis of electricity markets, advising clients on the design, improvement and performance of bid-based electricity spot markets, capacity markets, and ancillary service markets. She has expertise in leading discussions of alternatives for the design of regional electricity markets and of the related topics of transmission rights and transmission cost recovery. She has participated extensively in the stakeholder processes used to form and direct the operation of independent system operators and has led stakeholder groups through discussions of a number of controversial issues.

Dr. Pope is a member of a team of economists that has worked with the New York Independent System Operator, PJM, the California ISO, the Midwest ISO, ERCOT, the Ontario IESO and ISO-New England, as well as with organizations in other regions, on the design of rules for the operation of wholesale electricity markets. Throughout her career, Dr. Pope has also worked for other electricity sector clients, providing advisory services to established companies and market entrants facing a range of strategic and tactical decisions. Dr. Pope provides expert support for clients participating in a variety of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state regulatory proceedings. She has provided written and direct testimony in a number of cases before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and has played a key role in important proceedings, advising on case strategy and coordinating testimony and analyses from multiple parties. She is the co-author of a number of white papers and has been a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Dr. Pope was a Principal at LECG, LLC for over ten years and, prior to this, a Principal and Associate at Putnam, Hayes and Bartlett, Inc.