Unified/Independent System Operator (USO/ISO)- in discussion
The USO/ISO system would provide one entity to economically manage all power generation to meet the entire Railbelt’s demands. This would facilitate ‘economic dispath’ providing Railbelt consumers the cheapest possible power at any given time.
Economic dispatch means that as more power is needed, it will be met by the next most cost-effective generation option, not necessarily the closest or the one owned by the local cooperative.
MEA is participating in discussions with two main questions.
1: How can MEA deliver the lowest cost power to our members at any given time?
2: How can the Railbelt utilize MEA’s new power plant to benefit MEA members and other consumers?
MEA wants to understand if the cost-savings associated with a USO/ISO system outweigh the costs tied to forming the new organization. We are optimistic, but currently waiting on data from modeling results before we commit our members to this solution.
For more information follow this link to a RCA filing from the Alaska Railbelt Cooperative Electric Company (ARCTEC) on the matter, click the links below: