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Our History
Southwest Power Pool dates to 1941, when 11 regional power companies joined to keep an Arkansas aluminum factory powered around the clock to meet critical defense needs. After the war, SPP's Executive Committee decided the organization should be retained to maintain electric reliability and coordination. After the Northeast power interruption in 1965, other reliability councils were organized.

In 1968, SPP joined 12 other entities to form what became the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). SPP incorporated as an Arkansas not-profit organization in 1994. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved SPP as a Regional Transmission Organization in 2004 and a Regional Entity in 2007.

In North America, SPP is one of nine Independent System Operators/Regional Transmission Organizations (ISOs/RTOs) and one of eight NERC Regional Entities. SPP is mandated by FERC 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.

SPP is based in Little Rock, Ark., and has about 600 employees.

SPP provides or will provide the following services to members in 14 states (Reliability Coordination begins for the Integrated Systems in June, with full membership in October): Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

Reliability Coordination: SPP monitors power flow throughout our footprint and coordinates regional response in emergency situations or blackouts. SPP's Reliability Coordinator responsibilities are described in the SPP Reliability Coordinator Reliability Plan.

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 processes more than 8,900 transmission service requests per month, and SPP's 2013 transmission settlement transactions totaled $1.29 billion.

Regional Scheduling: SPP ensures that the amount of power sent is coordinated and matched with power received. 

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.

Market Operations: The Integrated Marketplace replaced the Energy Imbalance Service (EIS) Market on March 1, 2014. More than 130 market participants have registered for the Integrated Marketplace, which adds day-ahead, real-time balancing, and transmission congestion rights markets to the legacy wholesale real-time market. An initial analysis indicates the Integrated Marketplace will yield an additional $131 million in annual net savings during its first year of operation (in addition to $170 million in net savings from the EIS Market).

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.

Training: SPP offers continuing education for operations personnel at SPP and throughout the region. In 2014, SPP's training program provided our members $21.7 million worth of simulator training and awarded almost 18,000 NERC continuing education hours.

Contract Services: SPP provides reliability, tariff administration, and scheduling for non-members on a contract basis. 

Our Mission

Helping our members work together to keep the lights on today and in the future.

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