I'm glad you found someone with a balanced, that is including a bit of skepticism, viewpoint on this. I'm a Colorado resident, and our legislation requiring some utilities to join/study something RTOish seemed to pass without much discussion of downsides. "Ohhh, a market will solve our 'problems' and 'optimally.'"

Recently Xcel "found" the best location for some pumped hydro storage was way out at the west end of the state. All I could think was that they really wanted to dispatch it to serve CA at high prices, instead of selling me cheap power (which I can store for DHW or use for heat or car charging) when they will be over-supplied by wind and solar out east. They dropped that proposal but keep throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks or what will wear out the PUC. To their credit, they have proceeded with a powerline to one of the best combined wind and solar regions in the country. CO has solar, wind, topography for pumped hydro if needed, and 30,000 old and new gas wells for backup during the dunkelflaute. Other utilities say they are "100% renewable" or will be 90% next year, but they are not using 24/7 CFE accounting. They are actually doing a lot of trading of renewables for dirty stuff wherever over the course of the year.

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1) This is the globalization argument -- that getting rid of trade barriers makes things more efficient. However, it also means that the system is driven by the lowest-common denominator. With global trade, cheaper labor and fewer enviro restrictions drove trade ("drove" as globalization is being rolled back now.) So jobs left the U.S. and Trump was elected. Protectionism lost its bad rep.

There are analogies with the RTO / CAISO discussion. So cheaper energy, say from Wyoming and from existing coal-generated plants, will overwhelm more expensive electricity from new renewables. And administrators from coal-friendly states such as Wyoming will have equal say with CA administrators in an RTO.

2) Electricity is already sent to other states through market mechanisms. Transmissions lines are being built right now to send wind energy from WY to CA. This is without any RTO.

3) Prevailing wages required on new projects via IRA ignores that existing wages on existing fossil fuel plants may not conform to this.

4) CA leads on new policies and technologies. Will it lose that when it doesn't have full control?

5) re: withdrawing. Wasn't there a case where the courts told PJM that they couldn't leave their RTO?

6) Is it a given that the duck curve will get worse or even continue? If EV charging can be done during the day that would bring it down.

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