June 2, 2015

Southwest Power Pool expands electric grid management to 14 states

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Southwest Power Pool, a regional power grid operator that ensures access to reliable sources of electricity at competitive rates, has expanded its management of electric reliability coordination to include the Integrated System transmission system, adding more than 5,000 megawatts of peak demand and 9,500 miles of transmission infrastructure.

The Western Area Power Administration – Upper Great Plains in Billings, Mont.; the Basin Electric Power Cooperative in Bismarck, N.D.; and the Heartland Consumers Power District in Madison, S.D., comprise the Integrated System. Additionally, the Western Area Power Administration will become the first federal agency to join a regional transmission organization.

“The Integrated System will be a strong partner as SPP expands its grid oversight from all or part of eight states to 14 states, which will enhance our ability to deliver value through transmission,” said Nick Brown, SPP President and CEO. “The Integrated System’s footprint is well connected to SPP’s existing service territory and provides a logical expansion from a network configuration standpoint. It also is consistent with the principles that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission outlined in its Order 2000.”

“Coordinating the flow of power requires hard work and collaborative planning. We appreciate the efforts of everyone at the Integrated System to successfully achieve this milestone, and we look forward to completing the Integrated System’s full membership in SPP this fall, which will provide increased options for buying and selling power,” said Carl Monroe, SPP Chief Operating Officer.

SPP began providing reliability coordination to the Integrated System on June 1. Reliability coordination is one of several services provided by SPP to members and consumers. SPP monitors the power flow throughout its footprint and takes action to manage congestion and coordinate a regional response in emergency situations. The Integrated System will fully integrate its markets in SPP in October 2015.

The SPP Board of Directors approved the Integrated System’s membership in June 2014. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission substantively approved the membership agreement in November 2014.

About the Integrated System

The Integrated System is the backbone of the high-voltage transmission grid in the Upper Great Plains region of eastern Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. This jointly developed transmission system evolved from the 1962 Joint Transmission System (JTS) agreement of the Bureau of Reclamation with Basin Electric and 103 cooperative and municipal preference customers in this region.

About Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

Founded in 1941, SPP is a group of 84 members in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming that serve more than 15 million customers. Membership is comprised of investor-owned utilities, municipal systems, generation and transmission cooperatives, state authorities, wholesale generators, power marketers, independent transmission companies, and a federal agency. SPP's footprint includes 48,537 miles of transmission lines and 370,000 square miles of service territory. As a Regional Transmission Organization, SPP ensures reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale electricity prices. The SPP Regional Entity oversees compliance enforcement and reliability standards development. Learn more about SPP by visiting the company’s website at www.spp.org.