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Industry News

ComEd Quits Midwest ISO to Join Alliance RTO

LCG, Nov. 1, 2000--Commonwealth Edison Co. said yesterday it would withdraw its transmission system from the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator and join the Alliance Regional Transmission Organization. The company expects to be part of an operating Alliance RTO by December 15 of next year.

The switch is bad news for the nascent Midwest ISO, as ComEd was what mall operators call an "anchor tenant." But ComEd said its withdrawal should not prevent Midwest's expansion into areas north and west of its service territory.

Betsy Moler, senior vice president for federal government affairs and policy with Exelon Corp., ComEd's new parent formed by its merger with Peco Energy Co., said "Joining the Alliance RTO will provide us, and our customers, with better access to electric supplies and offer the potential for cost savings as the industry continues to restructure."

The former U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary and former chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who should have a feel for regulatory affairs, added "In the wake of our merger, it is increasingly clear that our primary customers and suppliers are in the east, our strongest interconnections are to the east, and our biggest growth is likely to occur in the east. The Alliance is developing a strong presence in our critical markets, while MISO has developed primarily to the north and west of our service territory."

Moler also said that Alliance's "transco" structure provides the best opportunity for the efficient operation and continued growth of the transmission system in ComEd's region.

Alliance RTO members already include American Electric Power Co., Consumers Energy Co., Detroit Edison Co., Virginia Electric & Power Co. and First Energy Corp.

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