SPP looks to expand reliability services in the West

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 103 views 

Little Rock-based Southwest Power Pool (SPP) plans to offer reliability-coordination (RC) services to the Western Interconnection starting in late 2019, according to a news release. The regional transmission organization sent letters of intent to offer reliability-coordination services to the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) and North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC).

There are 28 western utilities that are interested in the SPP’s reliability-coordination services, the release shows.

“SPP has served as an RC in the East for more than two decades and has coordinated electric reliability one way or another since we formed in 1941,” SPP President and CEO Nick Brown said. “We’ve shown consistently throughout our history an ability to coordinate people, systems and complex processes to keep the lights on. We’re thrilled at the possibility of now doing so for new stakeholders in the West.”

SPP is negotiating with several entities in the West who are looking to become a regional transmission organization and participate in SPP’s wholesale electricity markets, transmission planning and governance structure.

“Our sustained and successful growth has proven the value of SPP’s member-driven business model, and it has readied us to integrate seamlessly in the Western Interconnection,” Brown said. “Our history of leadership, expertise and success points to a fruitful collaboration between SPP and its new partners in the West.”

SPP is one of 10 U.S. reliability coordinators in the Eastern Interconnection, and for more 20 years, SPP has been a certified reliability coordinator by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. SPP offers reliability coordination from the Canadian border to the Texas panhandle.

“SPP has proven that our value extends well beyond compliance and minimum reliability standards,” said Carl Monroe, SPP’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We certainly have the knowledge, skills and tools to ensure grid reliability, and we’ve shown that we can work with neighboring RCs to enhance reliability beyond our own borders. We also provide other services no one else in the region does, like rating submission tools, funding of data exchanges and communication tools and real-time transient and voltage-stability monitoring.”

In 2009, the SPP incorporated several Nebraska utilities, established a FERC-approved method for highway and byway cost-allocation, combined the transmission and planning process in 2010, started the Integrated Marketplace in 2014 and the Integrated System in 2015.