Market power in electric power markets: Indications of competitiveness in spatial prices for wholesale electricity
AuthorDenton, Michael John, 1955-
AdvisorBlock, Michael K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe issue of market delineation and power in the wholesale electric energy market is explored using three separate approaches: two of these are analyses of spatial pricing data to explore the functional size of the markets, and the third is a series of experimental tests of the effects of different cost structures and market mechanisms on oligopoly strength in those markets. An equilibrium model of spatial network competition is shown to yield linear relationships between spatial prices. A data set comprising two years of spatial weekly peak and off-peak prices and weather for 6 locations in the Western States Coordinating Council and the Southwest Power Pool is subjected to a pairwise cointegration analysis. The use of dummy variables to account the the flow directions is found to significantly improve model performance. The second analytical technique utilizes the extraction of principal components from a spatial price correlation matrix to identify the extent of natural markets. One year of daily price observations for eleven locations within the WSCC is compiled and eigenvectors are extracted and subjected to oblique rotation, each of which is then interpreted as representing a separate geographic market. The results show that two distinct natural markets, correlated at 84%, account for over 96% of the variation in the spatial prices in the WSSC. Together, the findings support the assertion that the wholesale electricity market in the Western U.S. is large and highly competitive. The experimental analysis utilizes a radial three node network in which suppliers located at the outer nodes sell to buyers located at the central node. The parameterization captures the salient characteristics of the existing bulk power markets, and includes cyclical demand, transmission losses, as well as fixed and avoidable fixed costs for all agents. Treatments varied the number of sellers, the avoidable fixed cost structures, and the trading mechanism. Results indicated that sealed bid markets greatly reduced the ability of sellers to exert market power. Overall the existence of higher avoidable fixed costs tended to ameliorate market power effects.
Degree ProgramGraduate College