Organized wholesale electricity markets in two-thirds of the United States are overseen and governed by entities known as independent system operators (ISOs) or regional transmission organizations (RTOs) that exert immense control over how the markets operate. These RTOs and ISOs perform a variety of functions that directly impact the development of clean energy, but their existing operations can make it challenging to incorporate clean energy into the grid.  

Recognizing that wholesale markets are a critical link in the U.S. electricity system that will directly impact the clean energy transition, WRI is examining how innovative electricity market designs and governance can help align the operation of these markets and the clean energy goals of states, cities and other consumers. 

WRI works directly with cites that are collaborating to learn about how RTO issues impact their goals, identify their shared values, and brainstorm potential actions to improve the potential for clean energy in wholesale electricity markets.  

WRI convened stakeholders from RTO and ISO staff, utility leadership, academia, policymaking and environmental non-profits to discuss the challenges facing electricity market design over the course of four workshops: 

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