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RTO Insider: Study Tallies Economy-wide Benefits of Western RTO

Posted by Robert Mullin on Aug 1, 2022

RTO Insider discussed AEE's Western RTO study, detailing the economic benefits and job creation. Read snippets below and the full article here.

Released last week by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the Western RTO Economic Impact Study was prepared by Energy Strategies and Peterson & Associates. It draws on analysis Energy Strategies performed for a state-led study published last year to quantify the electricity system benefits of a Western RTO.

Last year’s state-led study, which was a collaboration among energy offices from Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Utah, found that an RTO covering the entire U.S. portion of the Western Interconnection could save the region $2 billion in annual electricity costs by 2030. (See Study Shows RTO Could Save West $2B Yearly by 2030.)

The AEE economic impact study focuses on a similar time frame, finding that an 11-state RTO could generate $18.8 billion to more than $79.2 billion in additional gross regional product (GRP) by 2030, equivalent to 0.4 to 1.6% of the region’s current GRP. The study also found that an RTO could help create between 159,000 and 657,000 permanent jobs at an average total compensation (including benefits) of $73,000 a year.

“The analysis shows that the growth from lower electricity prices may be substantial, ranging from about 51,000 to 230,000 jobs, and would affect industries crucial to the West’s long-term economic prospects,” the study said. “Notably, things like data center expansion or new data center location in the West, which one would expect to be affected by lower electricity costs afforded by a Western RTO, shows up as a substantially affected industry. Manufacturing and construction also show up as industries likely to be impacted, on aggregate, across the West.”

Read the full article here.

Topics: United In The News, Economic Impact, Western RTO