Western RTO Economic Impact Study

Posted by Reports on Jul 26, 2022 2:21:06 PM

Updated: September 28, 2022; region-wide analysis published July 26, 2022

Energy Strategies and Peterson & Associates prepared this report at the request of AEE to fill a research gap on the broader economic impacts that might result from the electricity cost savings and structural changes brought about by a potential RTO in the West. The analysis performed in a region-wide report, and companion state-level economic impact result summaries, find that substantial economic benefits, including new jobs, new indirect business taxes, and increases to Gross Regional Product are likely to flow to the region if a Western RTO is established.

The region-wide analysis quantified the economic benefits that might accrue to 11 Western states from a broad, West-wide organized electricity market known as regional transmission organization (RTO). The 11 Western states that were evaluated as part of this study effort were Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Compared to the status quo, the economic impact of all 11 states joining a Western RTO would, by 2030, bring up to 657,000 new permanent, high-paying jobs to the West, and save Western households more than $1.4 billion per year from lower electricity costs.

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Topics: State Policy, Wholesale Markets, Transmission