December 3, 2019

Southwest Power Pool now providing reliability coordination service in the west


Southwest Power Pool now providing reliability coordination service in the west

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Southwest Power Pool (SPP) launched its western reliability coordination (RC) service Dec. 3. SPP now ensures the reliability of the bulk electric system in the west on behalf of:

  • Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.
  • Black Hills Energy’s three electric utilities:  Black Hills Power, Inc.; Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power Company; and Black Hills Colorado Electric, Inc.
  • City of Farmington, New Mexico
  • Colorado Springs Utilities
  • El Paso Electric Company
  • Intermountain Rural Electric Association
  • Platte River Power Authority
  • Public Service Company of Colorado (Xcel Energy)
  • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association
  • Tucson Electric Power
  • Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) Colorado River Storage Project Management Center, WAPA Desert Southwest Region, WAPA Rocky Mountain Region, and WAPA Upper Great Plains – West

“SPP staff has worked with stakeholders for more than a year to carefully develop and implement RC services for western entities,” said Bruce Rew, SPP senior vice president of operations. “SPP is proud to be the first regional transmission organization to provide RC services in both the Eastern and Western interconnections.”

SPP has operated as a reliability coordinator certified by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation in the Eastern Interconnection for more than two decades. It will take over provision of RC service for its new customers from Peak Reliability and worked closely with them to ensure a smooth transition.

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of Peak Reliability and SPP to ensure this was an orderly and seamless transition,” WAPA’s Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel said. “As the energy industry in the west continues to change, we remain committed to working with our customers and neighboring utilities to create a safe, secure, reliable and economical future.”

Implementation of SPP’s western RC service involved establishment of data connections to new customers in the west, buildout of systems and processes to ensure a wide-area view of the entire Western Interconnection’s bulk power system, and working closely with customers and other stakeholders to ensure everyone was ready for the Dec. 3 transition.

“For a project starting more than two years ago with technical requirements of a magnitude seldom seen, AEPCO commends the staff at SPP for the dedication and diligence required to successfully pull off a daunting task,” said Shane Sanders, Arizona Electric Power Cooperative’s executive director of system operations. “SPP was very professional and patient working with AEPCO staff. AEPCO appreciates the level of detail required to bring in the project on time and on budget without any unexpected surprises or hurdles. Hats off to a job well done.”

With the launch of reliability coordination in the west, SPP is laying the foundation for additional services as part of its Western Energy Services portfolio. SPP currently administers the Western Interconnection Unscheduled Flow Mitigation Plan for six western utilities and in 2021 will launch the Western Energy Imbalance Service (WEIS) market, providing wholesale electricity and enhanced reliability to western participants.

“We’re thrilled to have reached this major milestone in the evolution of our services,” SPP president and CEO Nick Brown said. “We look forward now to the next steps: proving our value as a reliability coordinator, creating savings by launching markets in the west, and earning the trust of new customers interested in reliable, affordable service and SPP’s record of success.”

Southwest Power Pool, Inc. is a regional transmission organization: a nonprofit 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,