ERCOT Launched the first phase of NODAL

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas ran its “one day-ahead market” under the new nodal configuration yesterday and say that, as of last night, the old zonal market has been laid to rest forever.

Nodal is a market redesign and technology upgrade designed to enable location-specific pricing at more than 4,000 nodes instead of the four large and cumbersome congestion management zones used in the market design lo these many years here in Texas.

The project has been in the pipeline since 2003 and several target dates for taking it live had come and gone over the years. The surcharge passed on to customers has also spiraled, going from about 5 cents per megawatt hour in the beginning to nearly 17 cents.

The increases were needed to keep up with the ever-rising cost estimates that started at around $60 million but ended up at nearly $660 million.

The Public Utility Commission estimates that over time, electric retail customers will see significant savings under the new configuration, but getting it in place has been difficult, time-consuming and expensive.