May 18, 2022

Southwest Power Pool names directors to support market operation and development

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — Southwest Power Pool (SPP) announced the promotion of two employees into positions supporting administration and development of SPP’s wholesale electricity markets. SPP has chosen Steve Johnson to serve as Director of Markets Administration and Yasser Bahbaz as Director of Markets Development, effective June 16, 2022.

As Director of Markets Administration, Johnson will direct the administration and operation of the day-ahead market, real-time energy and operating reserve markets, tariff administration and interchange functions. As the Director of Markets Development, Bahbaz will direct the development and analysis of the day-ahead market, real-time energy and operating reserve markets, tariff administration and interchange functions. Both positions support SPP’s strategic initiatives of delivering greater value to members through continued development and optimization of existing markets and western expansion.

“Both Steve Johnson and Yasser Bahbaz have the experience SPP needs to lead market operations and development activities in both the Eastern and Western interconnections,” said Bruce Rew, senior vice president of operations. “As we continue to improve and expand our market services in the Eastern and Western interconnections, their expertise in building relationships, collaborating with stakeholders and providing technical solutions related to market operation and development is vital to the services we provide our current and future members.”

Johnson has more than 25 years of experience in real-time operations and reliability coordination, and currently serves as a principal operations specialist at SPP and staff secretary of the Western Markets Executive Committee. Before joining SPP, he served as senior vice president and Colorado River Storage Project manager for the Western Area Power Administration.

Bahbaz has 15 years of experience in energy markets and operations, focusing on reliability coordination, market operation and congestion management. He currently serves as SPP’s reliability coordination manager and supports the operation of both the SPP RTO and western reliability coordination services. He has extensive knowledge of energy imbalance market operation and played an essential role in designing and implementing various functions of SPP’s Integrated Marketplace.

About SPP:  Southwest Power Pool, Inc. is a regional transmission organization: a not-for-profit corporation mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices on behalf of its members. SPP manages the electric grid across 17 central and western U.S. states and provides energy services on a contract basis to customers in both the Eastern and Western Interconnections. The company’s headquarters are in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more at

Derek Wingfield, (501)614-3394,