Abstract

This study of the wholesale electricity market compares the cost-minimizing performance of the auction mechanism currently in place in U.S. markets with the performance of a proposed replacement. The current mechanism chooses an allocation of contracts that minimizes a fictional cost calculated using pay-as-offer pricing. Then suppliers are paid the market clearing price. The proposed mechanism uses the market clearing price in the allocation phase as well as in the payment phase. In concentrated markets, the proposed mechanism outperforms the current mechanism even when strategic behavior by suppliers is taken into account. The advantage of the proposed mechanism increases with increased price competition.

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