Independent System Operator (ISO)

Independent System Operator (ISO)

Image courtesy: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

where established, the organization that coordinates, controls, and monitors the operation of the electrical power system within a defined territory often encompassing a single US state, but sometimes across multiple states. Regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which established ISOs in 1996.

Pros

Allows for cost-effective market operation and access to a diverse generation supply; is often aligned with state policy (e.g. NYISO, CAISO, ERCOT [TX]).

Cons

ISOs don't exist everywhere and were fundamentally built around traditional centralized energy, both of which may limit opportunities for renewable energy.

Real Talk

More renewable energy means bigger energy ramps due to changes in wind or sunlight, and ISOs will need to be reconfigured accordingly. The challenge is that ISO conversations are thick with technical and regulatory speak. Learn it or find a champion to represent your community's interests.

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