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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has finalized regulations that will strengthen the operation and improve the competitiveness of organized wholesale electric markets through the use of demand response and by encouraging long-term power contracts, strengthening the role of market monitors and enhancing regional transmission organization (RTO) and independent system operator (ISO) responsiveness.

The final rule generally tracks the proposals outlined in the February 2008 notice of proposed rulemaking.

"Competition is national policy, and it is FERC's duty to foster competition and adopt those policies that will improve the operation of wholesale power markets and benefit consumers," says FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher. "This final rule is one in a series of reforms FERC has taken to promote competition in wholesale power markets. As markets emerge and other opportunities arise, FERC will continue to evaluate its rules to ensure that the nation's wholesale power customers have effective competition, a strong market structure and the just and reasonable rates that they deserve."

Effective wholesale competition protects consumers by providing more supply options, encouraging new entry and innovation, spurring development of new technologies, promoting demand response and energy efficiency, and improving operating performance of market participants, FERC says.

Organized market regions are those areas in which an RTO or ISO operates day-ahead and/or real-time energy markets. The following RTOs and ISOs have organized markets: PJM Interconnection LLC, New York Independent System Operator Inc., Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Inc., ISO New England Inc., California Independent Service Operator Corp. and Southwest Power Pool.

SOURCE: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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