Ten months after implementation, ERCOT continues to grapple with unforeseen difficulties arising from the nodal market. As you may already be aware, the nodal market began operation in December of 2010. Previously, ERCOT was operating under what is known as a “zonal market,” a less-complex form of wholesale market. The nodal market differs from the old zonal market in the way that it instructs generators to produce electricity. In the nodal system, ERCOT dispatches generation considering both the lowest total cost and the greatest relief of bottlenecks within the transmission system. The goal is to deploy the lowest-cost combination of generators that the capacity of the grid will allow.

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