The polar vortex made its presence known this winter and its impact on the electric and gas industry will be felt beyond the first day of spring. Bitter cold temperatures caused record-breaking demand for gas and electric, sending prices for these commodities to unprecedented peaks. It was brief but the wholesale price spikes in January affected everyone: utilities, suppliers, businesses and residential customers. As the bills rolled in, many were in shock wondering, “What just happened?” as they checked their invoices and contract provisions over and over and over again. To dig deeper into the answers, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission”) is establishing a technical conference to explore the impacts of the recent cold weather events on the Regional Transmission Organizations/Independent System Operators (RTO/ISO) and discuss actions taken to respond to those impacts. The discussion will focus on the impact of cold weather events on operational planning and real-time operations, market prices and performance; regional infrastructure; the actions taken in response to those impacts; gas procurement; and lessons learned that can be shared between regions and applied in future events.

This Commission-led technical conference regarding the 2013-2014 Winter Operations and Market Performance in Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators will take place on April 1, 2014 beginning at 9:00 am and ending at approximately 5:00 pm.  The conference will be held at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20426. Those interested in attending the technical conference are encouraged to register.