The inherent inefficiency of simultaneously feasible financial transmission rights auctions
Empirical evidence from the New York ISO shows that the clearing prices for point-to-point congestion revenue rights, also known as financial transmission rights (FTRs), resulting from centralized auctions conducted by Independent System Operators differ significantly and systematically from the realized congestion revenues that determine the accrued payoffs of these rights. The question addressed by this paper is whether such deviations are due to price discovery errors which will eventually vanish or due to inherent inefficiencies in the auction structure. We show that even with perfect foresight of average congestion rents the clearing prices for the FTRs depend on the bid quantity and therefore may not be priced correctly in the financial transmission right (FTR) auction. In particular, we prove that quantity limits on the FTR bids may cause the auction clearing prices to differ from the bid prices. This phenomenon which is inherent in the theoretical properties of the optimization algorithm used to clear the auction, is further illustrated through numerical simulations with test systems. We conclude that price discovery alone would not remedy the discrepancy between the auction prices and the realized values of the FTRs. Secondary markets or frequent reconfiguration auctions are necessary in order to achieve such convergence.
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