In the Energy I-SPARK, we subdivide our exploration of power markets primarily in terms of the activities that take place in order to bring the electricity produced by Generation Technologies to the end users of electricity (as compared to dividing by the actors involved in these activities). The three primary categories of activities we address in the Power Markets value chain are: Generation, Wholesale Market and Transmission, and Load Service and Distribution.
Generation: In the Generation step of the value chain, we address operation of all electric generation equipment feeding into the transmission system, including facilities run by vertically integrated utilities that also participate in marketing, transmission, and distribution activities, as well as “merchant generators,” whose only role in the power markets value chain is to generate electricity and sell into the wholesale market. We generically discuss activities relevant to all facility types, including renewable and fossil fuel generation. All generators partake in the fundamental activity of operating an electric generation resource to earn revenue, and are subject to constraints of regulations and markets, as well as physical constraints of transmission infrastructure.
Wholesale Market and Transmission: Wholesale Market and Transmission Operations represent the bridge between supply resources (Generation) and load (end users, aggregated by Load Serving Entities and served through Distribution). We focus on Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Regional Transmission Operators (RTOs). For clarity, we divide the Wholesale Markets and Transmission Operations step into several sets of activities: market making and optimization, operational activities, and the physical infrastructure.
Load Service and Distribution: This step of the Power Markets value chain represents the conceptual role of serving retail load and distributing electricity to end users, which might be handled by companies that only serve load, by companies that are completely vertically integrated from generation through to distribution, or by companies that pick and choose what elements of the electric power business they want to participate in. Key activities in this value chain step include aggregating load on behalf of end-use customers and making arrangements in wholesale markets to meet the aggregated load.
Use the dropdown menu at the top of the page to navigate to the value chain step of interest. After choosing a value chain segment, select a data category to view more detailed information (i.e., descriptive information, innovative outcomes, strategic conditions, knowledge conditions).