February 26, 2010

Southwest Power Pool to build corporate headquarters in Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP), a non-profit organization that provides services to 56 electric utilities and related organizations in nine states, today announced it will build a new corporate headquarters in Little Rock. The company will add 200 new jobs at the new facility, bringing total employment by 2012 to more than 600 people with total compensation approaching $75 million and average annual salaries of $83,500. SPP will invest $62 million in the facility, and is finalizing the purchase of 20 acres off Chenal Parkway. SPP will consolidate its existing three locations in central Arkansas to the new campus.

According to SPP President and CEO Nick Brown, “Building a campus for all employees will bring efficiencies, allowing us to focus on helping our members keep the lights on, plan for needed high-voltage transmission facilities, and develop new energy markets that will benefit our region.”

SPP’s new facility will contain a 150,000 square foot office building and a 33,000 square foot operations/data center. The building will be LEED certified, and SPP will preserve green spaces and many of the site’s natural characteristics.

“Southwest Power Pool already has a good history in Little Rock, and is making a strong, long-term commitment to Central Arkansas by expanding its headquarters here,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “These are high-paying, good-quality jobs that will help our economy while bolstering the company’s success in our State.”

With oversight by the federal government, SPP serves as an “air traffic controller” of the high-voltage electric grid, ensuring that electricity safely and reliably gets to customers. The company dates to 1941, when 11 regional power companies joined to keep an Arkansas aluminum factory powered around the clock to meet critical defense needs.

“Southwest Power Pool has decades of history and success in Little Rock, the region and its markets,” said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “In economic development, existing business retention and expansion is a major creator of new jobs, capital investment and payroll. The City of Little Rock is proud to partner with the Chamber in assisting SPP’s growth and capital commitment for its new headquarters and looks forward to continuing a long and productive partnership.”

The announcement was made today at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and was hosted by Barbara Graves, chairman of the Chamber.

SPP plans to occupy the new headquarters in mid- to late-2011.

Additional information can be found at SPP.org.

About Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

Southwest Power Pool, Inc. is a group of 56 members in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas that serve more than five million customers. Membership is comprised of investor-owned utilities, municipal systems, generation and transmission cooperatives, state authorities, wholesale generators, power marketers, and independent transmission companies. SPP's footprint includes 29 balancing authorities, 50,575 miles of transmission lines, and 370,000 square miles of service territory. SPP was a founding member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation in 1968, and was designated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) in 2004 and a Regional Entity (RE) in 2007. As an RTO, SPP ensures reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale prices of electricity. The SPP RE oversees compliance enforcement and reliability standards development. Read more fast facts or watch a video about SPP