What is an RTO
Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) are independent, membership-based, non-profit, public benefit organizations that operate multi-state electricity grids, oversee regional wholesale electricity markets, and provide reliability planning for their region. In practice, RTOs allow electric utilities to share resources and leverage the cheapest, cleanest, and most efficient energy sources.
As the climate changes and more of California’s economy shifts to clean energy, an RTO will make it easier, and cheaper, to keep the lights on – even during heat emergencies – by allowing California to work across the West to develop all the clean power communities need, from wind turbines in Wyoming and solar plants in Nevada to geothermal and hydropower in Washington and Oregon. All while building more clean power in California as well.
The Western United States is one of the only regions in the country without an RTO managing its power grid, and we are paying the price. There are seven RTOs in the US, covering about half of the states and roughly two-thirds of total US annual electricity demand.