The U.S. electric power system is in transition from one that has been centrally planned and controlled to one that will be increasingly dependent on competitive market forces to determine its expansion and operation. Restructuring and the transition to a competitive electric power market will be similar to recent experiences with the telecommunications and airline industries in some ways and different in other ways. On the one hand, many are hopeful that restructuring will unleash innovation and creative forces leading to lower costs and greater value for all. On the other hand, electricity is a unique commodity and reliable provision of electricity is in many ways a public good. As recent physical and market events demonstrate, reliability of the grid and integrity of the markets it supports are vital to the economic well-being of the nation. Seeking an appropriate balance between the self-interests of market participants and the national interest in an efficient and reliable power system is a fundamental challenge for restructuring of the electricity industry.
The mission of U.S. Department of Energy's Transmission Reliability Program is to develop technologies and conduct research on policy options that will maintain and improve reliability of the nation's electric power delivery system during the transition to competitive power markets. As part of this mission, the Program sponsored a Workshop on Transmission Reliability that gathered industry stakeholders and researchers to discuss federal R&D priorities necessary to ensure the reliability of the nation's electric power delivery system. Generating discussion for the Workshop was a series of six draft white papers on different aspects of reliability practices, technology, and policy. The white papers were prepared for the Department of Energy by members of the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS).
This report summarizes the presentations of the six draft white papers and the discussions that followed. The presentations were made by the lead authors for each paper and the discussions were initiated by discussants invited by DOE to comment on them. The white papers will be published separately following incorporation of comments from the electricity reliability community through forums such as this Workshop. When final, the white papers will form the basis for the development of a federal R&D roadmap for the Transmission Reliability Program. Copies of the author's presentations, written comments from lead discussants and other workshop participants, and the workshop attendee list are included in appendices to this report.