Market Information System Grid and Market Conditions

News Release

November 05, 2009

ERCOT Opens Nodal Systems to Market for Connectivity Tests

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, grid operator for most of the state, has opened its nodal production environment to the market for connectivity testing in preparation for integrated market trials in early 2010. 

Sixteen companies – including software vendors representing multiple market participants – have been testing data transfers between their software systems and ERCOT’s market management system since Oct. 28. The market management system interfaces represent several of the key applications in the integrated suite of applications that make up the nodal market. 

ERCOT received more than 21,000 successful transactions during the first week of testing.  ERCOT Chief Technology Officer Mike Cleary said there have been some technical issues, but these were not unexpected, and overall he is pleased with the early results.

“The whole reason we have opened the production environment to the market is to find out what isn’t working correctly. There have been no surprises,” Cleary said.  “The real value lies in market participants being able to test and complete their own development.” 

Among the data transfers that market participants have been testing are market submissions – similar to stock exchange bids and offers – that will play a key role in the nodal real-time and day-ahead markets. Those markets will be the focus of the 2010 market trials. 

“This is the second major market-facing milestone we have completed on time in the last three months, keeping us on track to meet the nodal market’s final deadline,” Cleary said.

The first market-facing milestone was the Aug. 31 activation of the single-entry model, the first of the core systems that will support the nodal market. The single-entry model is an electric-transmission management software system that allows transmission utilities to interactively view and update the ERCOT transmission model with new transmission lines, substations and other changes. 

The nodal market remains on schedule to be implemented by December 2010. ERCOT will move beyond market connectivity testing and into integrated market trials testing in early 2010. 

The nodal market’s implementation is expected to improve ERCOT’s price signals and dispatch efficiencies and its ability to directly assign local congestion, creating generation-operating efficiencies that could be passed on to the consumer in the form of savings.

ONLINE: Texas Nodal Market Implementation,

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers -- representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 710+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for nearly 8 million premises in competitive choice areas.

ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.