The Geographic Expanse of the Market for Wholesale Electricity

Elizabeth M. Bailey

February 1998

Elizabeth M. Bailey, February 1998

This paper develops new techniques to assess the expanse of the geographic market under varying supply and demand conditions and applies these techniques to the current wholesale electricity market in the western United States. This paper finds that, by and large, the expanse of the geographic market extends across most of the western United States, but that conditions which create congestion along transmission lines, such as high hydroelectric flows in the Pacific Northwest, transmission line outages and deratings, and high demand for wholesale electricity, cause the expanse of the geographic market to narrow at certain times.

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