Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Jon Brown

Introduction to Regional Wholesale Electricity Markets – RTOs and ISOs
September 2-3, 2020 | Online :: Central Time

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This course is designed to introduce basics of wholesale electricity markets operating in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The purpose is enhancing attendees’ understanding of types of wholesale electricity markets and the platforms that offer such markets. The focus will be on the functions of RTOs / ISOs and their role in providing platforms for real-time and day-ahead energy markets, ancillary service markets, and in some cases capacity markets. Participants will also gain a high-level understanding of current issues affecting electricity markets and will receive a detailed explanation of how the electricity markets operate.  

Major topics covered in this course include: 

  1. Basics of Electric Power Systems 
    • Fundamentals of electricity, definitions, and measuring units 
    • Generation, transmission, distribution, and loads
    • Types of generation resources including intermittent resources, costs, and capabilities 
    • Load duration curves, system load factors, load growth and customer classes 
    • Ancillary services
    • Power system losses
    • Power system load flow simulation
  2. Regulatory Oversight – Role of FERC and State Regulatory Agencies
  3. Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs)
    • RTOs/ISOs in U.S. and Canada
    • Regulatory structure of RTOs/ISOs
    • RTO functions and characteristics 
    • Advantages and disadvantages of RTO participation
    • Role of FERC, state regulatory agencies, and market monitor
  4. Regional Wholesale Electricity Markets Fundamentals – Part 1
    • Wholesale electricity prices trend and volatility
    • Locational marginal price (LMP) and its components
    • Review of supply and demand relationship, spot versus bilateral electricity markets 
    • Economic merit order selection and unit commitment including responsibilities and obligations
    • Security constrained economic dispatch and scheduling
    • Two settlement system: Day-ahead and real-time settlement
    • Cost of transmission congestion
    • Financial transmission rights (FTRs) for hedging against transmission congestion
    • Wholesale demand response 
    • Capacity market
    • Ancillary services market
    • Virtual trading 
    • Comparison of energy, capacity, and ancillary service markets offered by RTOs/ISOs in the U.S.
    • LMP simulation 
  5. Regional Wholesale Electricity Markets Fundamentals – Part 2
    • Forward pricing curve
    • Generator bidding strategies and constraints 
      • Variable cost and its components, marginal cost, incremental cost
      • Cost-based vs. market-based rate 
    • Scarcity pricing and load pockets
    • Energy price forecasting overview 
    • Brief overview of risk management
    • RTO/ISO financial settlement

Learning Outcomes  

Participants with little or no prior electric utility industry background or experience will be able to benefit from this course. At the adjournment of the course participants will be able to: 

  • Describe major components of a power system and types of wholesale electricity markets
  • Describe platforms for real-time and forward wholesale electricity markets
  • Explain locational marginal price (LMP) and its components
  • Describe, at high level, types of risks inherent in the wholesale energy markets and financial tools to manage such risks
  • Describe the role of generators, transmission, and load in a power system
  • Define and provide examples of ancillary services
  • State the role of FERC and state regulatory agencies
  • Describe ISO/RTO functions 
  • Describe role of transmission in the regional wholesale electricity markets
  • Explain bilateral and real-time energy markets
  • Discuss RTO/ISO financial settlement and credit issues



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.9 CEUs for this event.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program 

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit. 

Instructional Methods

This course will use slide presentation, group discussions, as well as active participation. Attendees will have ample opportunities to actively participate in review questions/answers sessions, group breakout sessions, and simulations/demonstrations offered as part of this course. 


Wednesday, September 2, 2020 – Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Login

9:00 am – 4:30 pm :: Course Timing 

12:30 – 1:15 pm :: Lunch Break

Power System Basics, Types of Generation Resources and Loads, and Regulatory Oversight 

  • Fundamentals of electricity, definitions, and units
  • Overview of source to socket components – generation, transmission, distribution, and loads
  • Power flow demonstration 
  • Types of generation resources, heat rate, capacity factor, and installation costs
  • Load characteristics, load duration curves, load factor, and customer classes
  • Demand response
  • Power system losses
  • Regulatory oversight – role of FERC, state regulatory agencies, and market monitor
  • Review questions 

Types of Energy Markets and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs)  

  • Wholesale electricity prices and volatility
  • Review of supply and demand relationship 
  • Types of electricity markets – real-time (spot) versus bilateral markets
  • RTOs/ISOs in U.S. and Canada
  • RTO functions and characteristics
  • RTO drivers
  • Advantages and disadvantages of RTO /ISO participation
  • Regulatory framework and role of FERC and state regulatory agencies 
  • RTO stakeholders
  • Review questions

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. :: Lunch Break

Locational Marginal Price (LMP) 

  • LMP concept
  • Components of LMP and examples 
  • Nodal, Hub, and Zonal LMP
  • LMP demonstration, review questions, and class exercise 

RTO/ISO Wholesale Electricity Markets 

  • Economic merit order and unit commitment
  • Security constrained economic dispatch
  • Cost of transmission congestion and losses
  • Financial transmission rights (FTRs) for transmission congestion hedging
  • Day-ahead and real-time market, scheduling and dispatch
  • Capacity market
  • Ancillary services – whose responsibilities?
  • Ancillary services market
  • Comparison of markets offered by RTOs/ISOs in the U.S.
  • Review questions

Thursday, September 3, 2020 – Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. ::Login

9:00 am – 12:00 pm :: Course Timing 

Review of Previous Day; Opportunities for Questions and Discussion on Previous Day’s Material 

Regional Wholesale Electricity Market Basics – Continued 

  • Overview of generator/load offer/bidding considerations, bid and offer curves, three-part bid
  • Generator capacity dispatch range, variable cost components, start-up cost, no load cost, ramp rate concepts
  • Overview of RTO/ISO financial settlement
  • Review questions 

Risk Management and Credit Requirements 

  • Potential risks 
  • Overview of risk hedging tools for real-time and bilateral markets: FTRs, virtual trading, options, futures, and SWAPs 
  • Credit requirements
  • Review questions


Raj Rana, PE, MBA, CEM, PMP, President, Rana Energy Consulting  

While serving as the director of RTO Policy and NERC Compliance at American Electrical Power, Raj was responsible for coordination of energy, transmission, market structure, finance, and governance-related RTO policy issues among the AEP business units. This also included the development of corporate positions/policies and advocacy of such positions at regulatory agencies at stakeholder forums in PJM, SPP, and ERCOT RTOs. He was also responsible for the development and coordination of strategic direction of AEP’s power system reliability compliance program among all business units, as well as coordination and facilitation of compliance plans, policies and procedures within the company to ensure timely and successful compliance of NERC, and regional reliability standards.  

Previously, Mr. Rana worked in AEP’s System Planning department in various positions. His experience at AEP includes planning and operation of the bulk transmission network, generation interconnections, tariff and regulatory/legislative issues, system integration, asset management, mergers and acquisitions, and planning and engineering studies for international transmission and generation projects.  

Mr. Rana holds a BSEE degree from M. S. University (India), an MSEE degree from West Virginia University, and an MBA degree from University of Dayton. Mr. Rana also completed the AEP Management Development Program at the Fisher Business College of the Ohio State University. He is a life-senior member of IEEE and holds the Ohio State PE license. Mr. Rana is also a certified energy manager and project management professional. 

Online Delivery

Our courses are designed to be the best possible use of your valuable time – get the information you need to improve your position in the market in an interactive, dynamic format.

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

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