EBF 483
Introduction to Electricity Markets

10.2.1 Financial Transmission Rights

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Financial Transmission Rights (FTRs) are financial instruments that entitle the holder to the difference between LMPs at two defined locations. The parameters for an FTR are:

  • A "source" node, which we will call node a
  • A "sink" node, which we will call node b
  • A quantity, in MW, which we will call M.
Diagram showing a "Source" node called "a" and a "Sink" node called "b".
Figure 10.2: A Financial Transmission Right can be defined between any two nodes in an electricity network.
Source: Seth Blumsack

The holder of an M megawatt FTR from node a to node b is entitled to receive:

M*(LMPb - LMPa)

For each hour during the duration of the FTR.

FTRs are typically auctioned off quarterly by the RTO, and may have different durations (one-month FTRs versus quarterly FTRs, for example). Most FTRs are structured as obligations, which means that the holder of the FTR gets the difference between the LMPs at node a and node b, no matter whether that difference is positive or negative. If LMPb > LMPa then the holder of the FTR is paid money by the RTO. If LMPb < LMPa then the holder of the FTR must pay the RTO.

Some FTRs may be structured as options that renew every hour, in which case during a given hour the FTR holder would choose to exercise the option only if LMPb > LMPa , i.e. If the payoff would be positive. The payoff from a M-megawatt FTR option from node a to node b would thus be:

Max(0, LMPb - LMPa)

FTRs also obey superposition, just like power flows. A M-megawatt FTR defined from a to b and a M-megawatt FTR from b to a will cancel each other out financially (as long as both FTRs are structured as obligations). A M-megawatt FTR from a to b and a M-2 megawatt FTR from b to a would have identical value as a 2 megawatt FTR from a to b.

As financial instruments, FTRs are very similar to swaps. A swap is an agreement to exchange the closing price of two different financial assets. In this case the "swap" is between two nodes in the power network, not between two different financial assets.

Let's work through a few examples of valuing FTRs. We will use the three node network in the figure below, where the LMP at node A is $$14/MWh, the LMP at node B is $9/MWh and the LMP at node C is $14.50/MWh.

 

A three node network with properties described in the caption.
Figure 10.3: A three node network used to illustrate the valuation of Financial Transmission rights. The LMP at node A is $14/MWh, the LMP at node B is $9/MWh and the LMP at node C is $14.50/MWh.
Source: Seth Blumsack
  • Example #1: A 5 MW FTR from node A to node C would have a value of 5*($14.50 - $14) = $2.50.
  • Example #2: A 5 MW FTR from node A to node B would have a value of 5*($9 - $14) = -$25.
  • Example #3: A 5 MW FTR from node A to node C plus a 10 MW FTR from node A to node C would have a value of (5+10)*($14.50 - $14) = $7.50.

Now it is your turn. Show that a 5 MW FTR from node A to node C plus a 2 MW FTR from node C to node A would have a total combined value of $1.50.