NERC testing redispatch software program

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a request by the North American Reliability Council to extend its market redispatch pilot program until Dec. 31, 2001, because complex software needed to operate the system wasn't ready this past summer. FERC earlier granted an extension on June 1, extending the program from June 1 to Dec. 31, 2000.


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a request by the North American Reliability Council (NERC) to extend its market redispatch pilot program until Dec. 31, 2001, because complex software needed to operate the system wasn't ready this past summer.

FERC earlier granted an extension on June 1, extending the program from June 1 to Dec. 31, 2000. In its most recent FERC filing, NERC said the new extension will permit use and evaluation of the redispatch program�including new automated features�through the peak 2001 season.

The automated features of the new system are expected to reduce the 3-hour scheduling limit for transactions to 45 minutes. The shorter deadline is projected to lower transaction costs, NERC says, because the necessary decisions will be made closer to the time when the redispatch may actually be needed.

NERC describes the market redispatch program as a procedure for prearranging market redispatch transactions to allow counterflows on a constrained path. It would be implemented on an "as needed" basis to protect transactions that otherwise would be curtailed during transmission loading relief (TLR) procedures.

In previous filings, units of Enron Corp. and Dynegy Inc. complained the program omitted important rules governing redispatch and asked NERC to cut the deadline for redispatch to 20 minutes. In June, FERC found NERC's proposal to cut the time to 45 minutes represented a significant improvement and was consistent with NERC's commitment to simplify the process.

FERC also found the reliability organization's proposal represented a "best effort" to comply with FERC's mandate to develop more comprehensive redispatch solutions to congestion management.

NERC also said the latest extension will allow time for training security coordinators and control area operators on the system and revisions to transmission loading relief definitions, which were scheduled to take effect in October.

A report on the pilot and a NERC evaluation on whether to continue the market redispatch program is now scheduled to filed by Dec. 1, 2001.

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