Southwest Power Pool expands reliability coordination service in West

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 350 views 

Little Rock-based regional transmission organization Southwest Power Pool (SPP) announced Tuesday (Sept. 1) the expansion of its western reliability coordination service with the addition of eight generating resources managed by Gridforce Energy Management in Washington, Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico.

The agreement with Gridforce comes as SPP completes its first year of ensuring reliability on behalf of customers in the Western Interconnection. SPP, as a reliability coordinator, has ensured electricity is available for its customers across a region spanning Montana to the Texas panhandle and contributed to the overall reliability of the entire western grid by optimizing the use of available resources, working with neighboring entities to coordinate and reduce the impact of outages and maintaining a wide view of the bulk power system.

Starting April 1, 2021, SPP will ensure the dependability of the bulk power grid as a certified reliability coordinator for generators representing 3,450 megawatts of generating capacity that are part of the grid balancing authority area managed by Gridforce. SPP started its reliability coordinator services in the western interconnection on Dec. 3, 2019, and serves 13 transmission operators and nine balancing authorities, including three in Arizona managed by Gridforce: Griffith Energy, Arlington Valley and New Harquahala Generating Co.

“Gridforce is very pleased to continue its relationship with SPP,” Gridforce President C.J. Ingersoll said. “The expansion of SPP’s reliability coordinator services assists our own expansion and growth in support of our clients. Gridforce will continue to work with clients that receive reliability coordinator services from both SPP and RC West, and we are looking forward to continued focus on reliable system operations and the benefits of working with highly capable RCs.”

“We’re happy to see our reputation as a service provider of choice growing in the West,” said Bruce Rew, senior vice president of operations for Southwest Power Pool. “As western utilities consider the best way to keep the lights on, keep the costs of wholesale energy as low as possible and meet goals like renewable standards, we want the chance to prove ourselves just as we’ve done for eastern utilities since 1941.”

SPP has been certified since 1998 by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. to provide reliability coordination services to customers in the Eastern Interconnection. SPP received the certification to provide a similar service in the West and launched its Western Reliability Coordination service with 15 customers in December 2019. SPP is developing a real-time balancing market that will help in the purchase and sale of wholesale energy among participants, and this is scheduled to start Feb. 1, 2021.

The SPP manages the electric grid across 17 central and western U.S. states and provides energy services to customers in the Eastern and Western Interconnections.

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