Energy in Oregon

​​​​​​​SB 589 (2021) requires ODOE to identify the
opportunities, challenges, and barriers to Oregon entities participating in a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO). ​
Powerlines, tower and Mt. Hood.JPG ODOE's Role
The Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) Study will consist of a literature review by ODOE of recent relevant studies, followed by structured engagement with stakeholders to identify the key opportunities, benefits, and challenges of RTO formation. 

Pursuant to the law, ODOE's study will involve:

  • Literature review of relevant studies from 2019-2021
  • Development of scoping questions, in consultation with PUC, for stakeholder advisory committee
  • Convening, at minimum, two advisory committee meetings
  • Submission to the Legislature of a final report that contains key findings from the literature review and perspectives from Oregon stakeholders on key issues identified

The final report is due to the Legislature by December 31, 2021

Stakeholder Engagement 

Pursuant to SB 589, the Oregon Department of Energy has appointed a diverse group of stakeholders to the Oregon RTO Advisory Committee to provide feedback and perspectives that are foundational to the implementation of this bill. For a full list of the members of that committee, click here

While the primary purpose of this bill is the solicitation of feedback from this committee, we also welcome public comment and feedback. Members of the public who have an interest in following this process can sign up here. Additionally, feedback opportunities and meetings of the Oregon RTO Advisory Committee will be open to the public via the ODOE Comment Portal and ​Webex webinar (see meeting info below to register) and there will be an opportunity at those meetings for public comment. The scoping questions that will be the focus of these advisory committee meetings can be found here, but we ask that​responses to the questions be submitted via the ODOE Comment Portal. To review the comments that have been filed by stakeholders via the online portal, click here. Additional comments were submitted directly to ODOE via PDF: 

RTO 101

What is a Regional Transmission Organization or RTO? What does an RTO do? How would formation of an RTO impact how the electricity system in Oregon currently works? These are all foundational questions that we recognize might not be well understood by all of the stakeholders interested in the Department's implementation of SB 589. 

To help facilitate these discussions, we have identified the following materials that might be of interest to those interested in learning more about this topic:

Power Markets Overview:

  • 2020 Biennial Energy Report – Policy Brief: Evolving Wholesale Electricity Markets, by ODOE (l​ink)
  • An Introductory Whitepaper to RTOs, by Energy Strategies (link)
  • Energy Markets Primer – Chapter 3: Wholesale Electricity Markets, by FERC (link)
  • Power Market Primers, by NETL (link)
  • Governance Structure and Practices in the FERC Jurisdictional ISOs/RTOs, by Exeter Associates (link)      ​

Deep Decarbonization Analysis:

  • Oregon 100% Clean Pathways Study (link)
  • Northwest Deep Decarbonization Pathways (link)
  • Washington State Energy Strategy (link)
  • Pacific Northwest Pathways to 2050 (link)

Recent Technical Studies and Reports Evaluating RTO Formation:

  • State-led Market Options Study, by Energy Strategies (link)
  • Western Energy Imbalance Service and SPP Western RTO Participation Benefits, by the Brattle Group (link)
  • Western Flexibility​ Assessment Investigating the West's Changing Resource Mix and Implications for System Flexibility, by Energy Strategies (link

​Meetings​​ & Feedback Opportunities 

​Meetings & Comment Deadlines
​September 13, 2021

​Deadline to submit responses to scoping questions on the ODOE Comments Portal (Click here for a PDF of the questions). 

September 20, 2021

1 - 5 p.m.

Video Recording​
Meeting Agenda
Meeting Presentation

October 6, 2021

8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Video Recording​

Meeting Agenda​
Meeting Presentation


 Senate Bill 589​
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Contact ODOE Staff:
Adam Schultz

Lead, Electricity & Markets Policy Group
(503) 580-1398​