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Course Level
Delivery Method
Live Instructor-Led Virtual Course
Professional Development Credit Hours
There is no pre-requisite for this course.


ALAN HERBST is a Principal with Utilis Advisory Group, a firm providing strategic advisory and consulting services to the energy sector. Mr. Herbst has over 25 years of energy experience. His specializations include analysis of market fundamentals, related energy infrastructure buildout, pricing mechanisms, commercial trading and risk management opportunities.

Mr. Herbst expertise covers oil, natural gas and power markets. In recent years, he has focused his efforts on unconventional upstream development (shale gas and tight oil), LNG, oil sands, nuclear power, distributed generation and related environmental and regulatory issues.


NASBA: Mennta Energy Solutions is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site:

North American Electricity Fundamentals (VIRTUAL) - NAEF

Course Schedule

Date Time Location Price* Registration Deadline**
14-15 Nov 2024
12:00pm-4:00pm (New York)
Zoom: Americas
USD 1,890 (NAEF-VILTNA24-11)
4 Oct 2024

*Prices do not include VAT, GST, or any other local taxes. All applicable taxes will be added to the invoice.
**Please register by the deadline to help us ensure sufficient attendance and avoid postponing the course.

Course Summary

The course will begin by reviewing the fundamentals of electricity as a commodity and the history of regulation and deregulation in North America.  We will then see how the market participants interact to produce and consume power.

Delegates will gain a sense of how the power industry engages with other commodities for generation – including cost and technology implications of the difference resources.  From there we will cover transmission components and the Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs).  Next, we will introduce a broad look at the North American market structure before reviewing the regional markets more in-depth.

Finally, attendees will see market pricing and essential risk management tools.

Who Should Attend?

This is basic level course and there are no prerequisites.  Class delegates include everyone from support staff to management from trading, risk management, operations, accounting, credit, and contracts groups.

Course Content


  • What is electricity?
    • Definition
    • How power differs from other commodities?
    • Measurements
  • Load
    • Definition
    • Load shape & load profile
    • Load factor
  • Grid
  • Regulation / Deregulation
    • How and why the industry was regulated
    • Why and how deregulation developed
    • State of deregulation today


  • Electricity as a commodity
    • How it is delivered
    • Implications of the lack of storage
  • Qualities:  firm, interruptible, peak, off peak
  • Trading time blocks
    • Next hour
    • Next day
    • Weekly block
    • Balance of the month
    • Monthly block
    • Seasonal block
    • Calendar block
  • Unbundling Power
    • Heat rate
    • Implied heat rate
  • Short term price drivers:  weather, outages


  • Participants
    • Suppliers
      • Investor owned Utilities
      • Publicly owned Utilities and Nonprofits
      • Power Marketers
      • Independent Power Producers
      • Retail Providers
      • Schedulers
  • Consumers
    • Large end users
    • Small end users
    • Consumption statistics
      • Sales
      • Prices / costs


  • Basic concepts and terms
  • Thermal efficiency
  • Resources
    • Review of the cost stack
    • Overview of generation resources (water, wind, solar, and various fossil fuels)
    • Overview of various generation technologies (including technology and cost to operate and build):
      • Hydro
      • Nuclear
      • Coal
      • Natural Gas
        • Combined cycle
        • Simple cycle
      • Renewables
        • Wind
        • Solar


  • Components of the transmission system
  • Control areas
  • Control area operators
  • Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs)
  • Ancillary Services
  • Smart Grid

Market Structure

  • NERC regions
  • Bilateral vs. pool
  • Power pools – Independent System Operators (ISOs)
  • ISO unit commitment
  • Locational Marginal Pricing (LMP)
  • Valuing congestion
  • Congestion insurance (e.g., FTRs, CRRs)

Review of Regional Markets

  • Characteristics
    • Market structure
    • Transmission characteristics
    • Generation characteristics
    • Evolving resource mixes
    • Seasonal patterns
  • ISO-NE
  • PJM
  • SERC

Market Pricing and Risk Management

  • Indexes
  • Hedging
  • Power Swaps
  • Spark Spreads

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