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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, Arkansas, and has more than 500 employees.

SPP provides the following services to members in nine states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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 2011 transmission settlement transactions totaled $864 million.

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: In the Energy Imbalance Service (EIS) market, 32 participants buy and sell wholesale electricity in real-time. Participants can use the EIS market to get the least expensive available energy from other utilities. SPP's wholesale market transactions totalled $1.28 billion in both 2010 and 2011. SPP is planning for future energy markets.

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 2011, the SPP training program provided more than 31,000 classroom hours to 4,412 participants. More than 20,000 NERC continuing education hours were awarded to 27 organizations.

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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