Power market design leads traders to take advantage

Vincent Kaminski

Sometime in the year 2000, traders at the offices of Enron in Portland, Oregon, found a glitch in the design of the California power pool. This is what transpired, according to an Enron lawyer:

"There was a trader in Portland who was scheduling megawatt (MW) sales in fractions, in increments. So he would schedule a sale of 22.49MW. And when the power flowed, the independent system operator, or whoever the authority was, would round down in terms of delivery of the product, so they would only req