Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Economics

Committee Chair

Amanda Dawsey

Commitee Members

Doug Dalenberg, John Duffield


Deregulation, Electricity, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Independent System Operator, Market Power, Montana Power Company, NorthWestern Energy, PPL, renewable energy, SB 390, Wholesale Electricity Market, Energy, Montana Public Service Commission


University of Montana


This work investigates market power and regulatory failures in the Montana wholesale electrical market after the implementation of deregulation in 1997. It provides a review of the development of the Montana wholesale electrical market, federal and state market power regulation, economic theory, and approaches for regulating market power in electrical markets. The work primarily focuses on the conduct of PPL Corporation, which acquired the generation assets of the Montana Power Company, and its capacity to set prices in Montana. It identifies that the current regulatory scheme, which is managed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is inadequate at deterring and detecting the exercise of market power. Welfare impacts to Montana Consumers are estimated at $722 million. The work includes a significant review of NorthWestern Energy’s re-vertical integration and information about the structure of the Montana electrical market.



© Copyright 2012 Ross Patrick Keogh