What We Do
In North America, Southwest Power Pool is one of nine Independent System Operators/Regional Transmission Organizations (ISOs/RTOs) and one of eight NERC Regional Entities. SPP is mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale prices of electricity.
ISOs/RTOs are the "air traffic controllers" of the electric power grid. ISOs/RTOs do not own the power grid. They independently operate the grid minute-by-minute to ensure that power gets to customers and to eliminate power shortages. Get more SPP Fast Facts.
SPP provides the following primary services to our members and customers:
Compliance: The SPP Regional Entity enforces compliance with federal and regional reliability standards for users, owners, and operators of the region's bulk power grid.
Market Operations: In the Energy Imbalance Service (EIS) market, participants buy and sell wholesale electricity in real-time. If a utility requires more energy than it scheduled, the market provides the utility another option to buy the "extra" energy at real-time prices to make up the difference and meet its demand. Participants can use the EIS market to get the least expensive available energy from other utilities. SPP's 2009 wholesale market transactions totaled $1.14 billion. SPP is planning for future energy markets.
Regional Scheduling: SPP ensures that the amount of power sent is coordinated and matched with power received.
Reliability Coordination: SPP monitors power flow throughout our footprint and coordinates regional response in emergency situations or blackouts.
Tariff Administration: SPP provides "one stop shopping" for use of the region's transmission lines and independently administers an Open Access Transmission Tariff with consistent rates and terms. SPP's 2009 transmission market transactions totaled $486 million.
Training: SPP offers continuing education for operations personnel at SPP and throughout the region. In 2009, the SPP training program awarded ~17,000 continuing education hours to 444 operators from 30 member organizations.
Transmission expansion planning: SPP's planning processes seek to identify system limitations, develop transmission upgrade plans, and track project progress to ensure timely completion of system reinforcements.
Contract Services: SPP provides reliability, tariff administration, and scheduling for non-members on a contract basis.
SPP's Mission: Helping our members work together to keep the lights on … today and in the future.