The Midwest Independent System Operator announced Wednesday that it planned to launch a new power market in December. The grid operator should start testing the new Midwest energy market on about March 8, according to a Reuters report.

However, Dow Jones Business News reported that the implementation of wholesale power markets within its central U.S. territory could be delayed by up to five months. The delays from the previously planned market startup in December, the Dow Jones story by Jon Kamp reported, would accommodate concerns from some Midwest ISO members that the use of financial incentives designed to make power flows enhance reliability could actually make trading more expensive in certain regions according to James P. Torgerson, Midwest ISO chief executive.

Midwest ISO will launch the market with day-ahead and real-time electricity price trading on Dec. 1. The prices will be traded much the same way as in the PJM Interconnection, the Reuters story said. Torgerson said that the delays are one contingency now under review.

According to the Dow Jones story, the market startup for the entire Midwest ISO is already on a delayed schedule. The two markets were previously seen launching separately in the spring and fall this year, but the blackout caused the operator to push back the implementation to focus on reliability.

Torgerson and Pat Wood III, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, held a media briefing on Feb. 18 at the Midwest ISO headquarters in Carmel, Indiana, U.S.

Torgerson provided an update on a series of reliability enhancements the Midwest ISO had implemented since the Aug. 14 power outages, steps the organization has taken to bolster customer relations and milestones achieved prior to the future launch of the Midwest energy markets.

The Midwest ISO has added a State Estimator that includes more than 30,000 network busses – substations where transmission lines come together – and approximately 87,000 Inter Control Center Protocol (ICCP) data points that are monitored every 30 seconds.

Wood came to publicly acknowledge the work the grid operator had done to enhance reliability since the blackout.