Bernard McNamee Authors Article on Wholesale Electric Markets

April 12, 2021

McGuireWoods partner and McGuireWoods Consulting senior advisor Bernard McNamee wrote an April 8, 2021, Real Clear Energy article titled “Time to Update Wholesale Electric Markets — But Don’t Forget the Benefits of Traditional Utility Regulation.”

In the article, McNamee discussed challenges to the reliability and transparency of the U.S. power grid due to the wholesale market paradigm’s failure to evolve with changes in energy generation and public policy preferences. Seven regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) serve nearly 70 percent of American electric customers, he noted.

To better accommodate public policy goals, promote reliability and reduce costs, McNamee proposed the following:

  • restructure electric markets to better facilitate clean energy goals, reliability and customer benefits;
  • stop establishing reserve margins based on absolute peak;
  • ensure that all grid users pay for it by promoting transparency;
  • rethink how transmission is planned, built and paid for; and
  • examine what works in states that have not joined an RTO or ISO.