Vibrant Clean Energy (VCE®) partnered with Energy Innovations to study the potential impact of a regional transmission organization (RTO) for the Southeastern United States (SE-RTO).

The modeling (using WIS:dom®-P) found that with an RTO the region could save $384 billion by 2040, create 285,000 full time jobs, reduce emissions by 37% and provide transparency in the region.

The team modeled four scenarios. Importantly, the first scenario mimicked the utilities’ integrated resource plans (IRPs) and found that an increase in thermal generation exceeded requirements and inflated costs. Conversely, the SE-RTO scenario reduced the dependency on thermal generation and shifted to low-cost variable generation.

One of the sensitivity scenarios studied an alternative IRP, which allowed for competitive build out and economic dispatch. This scenario produced approximately 60% of the savings of the SE-RTO. Finally, a fourth scenario determined the benefit of an SE-RTO when nuclear power plants remained online through 2040. This scenario was very slightly more expensive than the SE-RTO scenario, but had far fewer emissions.

Interestingly wind power, in the modeling, became an important contribution to the electricity mix. With it increasingly providing capacity requirements for winter demand profiles. Further, the modeling found that distributed energy resources (DERs) and their co-optimization provided 10% of the system savings.

All input and output data are available, as are the reports and summary spreadsheets. Find them here:

Policy Report

Summary Report

Technical Report

Summary Spreadsheets

All Input Data

All Output Data

See below for some visualizations from the reports.

Visualizations of the WIS:dom®-P Modeling Results



Source: Energy Innovations

The siting of resources by WIS:dom®-P for the SE-RTO scenario in 2018 (left) and 2040 (right).

A high stress week for the SE-RTO in both the SE-IRP (top) and SE-RTO (bottom) scenarios for 2040. They both manage to deal with the conditions, but the SE-RTO has more flexibility and uses cleaner sources.

The WIS:dom®-P model has access to high-quality, high-fidelity wind and solar power datasets that are produced by VCE®. This enables the model to detect a variety of difficult conditions and coincident events. Read more here.


The Weather-Informed energy System: for design, operations and markets optimization (WIS:dom®-P) model is an extremely versatile software package. In its planning mode (P) it runs as a (mixed integer non-)linear programming algorithm to find the lowest cost market solution for an entire energy system. The tool takes into account all the generator types, electric demand profiles, retirement dates, reserve requirements, costs, transmission planning, weather variables, ramping constraints, fuel restrictions, and much more when computing its decisions. It does all this at very fine granularity. The grid size can be as small as a utility or as large as a continent. If you would like more information contact us here.

Take a look at our WIS:dom® brochure & WIS:dom®-P technical documentation