September 30, 2010

SPP holds groundbreaking ceremony for new campus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - SPP held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new $62 million campus; speakers included Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, SPP President and CEO Nick Brown, Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce Chairman Barbara Graves, and SPP's Board of Directors Chairman Jim Eckelberger.

  • SPP is a non-profit organization that provides services to 60 electric utilities in nine states. SPP has a long history in Arkansas, dating to 1941 when eleven utilities pooled their power to operate an aluminum factory in Bauxite that was a vital part of the war effort.
  • With oversight by the federal government, SPP’s serves as an “air traffic controller” of the high-voltage electric grid, ensuring that electricity safely and reliably gets to customers.
  • A major goal for the coming years is to implement new wholesale energy markets that will improve electric reliability and bring our members net benefits of $100 million per year. This initiative will require adding more staff and increasing the size of our facilities.
  • SPP employs approximately 450 people with total salaries and benefits of approximately $53 million. By 2012, SPP is projected to have approximately 600 employees.
  • SPP currently has employees in three locations: the Plaza West building in mid-town Little Rock, the former GMAC building in west Little Rock, and Maumelle. The new campus will bring employees back together on one campus so we can collaborate more efficiently and effectively, and will house the data and operations infrastructure required for our expanding real-time operations.
  • The $62 million new campus will include a 36,000 square foot, 24/7 real-time data and operations center in which we will house our computing assets, and from which our grid operators will work. The operations center is where we monitor the electric grid, manage use of the region’s transmission lines, and operate our energy markets in compliance with regional and federal standards.
  • The four-story, 150,000 square foot office building is where SPP will conduct its other business functions, including:
    Engineering - Studies the electric grid to determine what new transmission infrastructure is needed
    Regulatory Policy - Maintains SPP’s tariff and works with state regulatory commissions
    Compliance - Ensures that SPP and our members meet reliability standards
    Training - Helps keep our region’s grid operators certified
    IT - Maintains the computer networks critical to our real-time grid operations
    Other - Corporate Services, Customer Service, Legal, Communications, Internal Audit, Finance, and
  • Sustainable design and energy efficient operation were important considerations during the project’s initial planning phase. Our design will be guided by the principles of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED requirements.
  • We expect to complete the operations center in September 2011 and the office building in February 2012.
  • Visit to watch a video about SPP and learn more about the services we provide.