April 12, 2016

SPP completes competitive transmission project process, publishes industry expert report and recommendation to board

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Southwest Power Pool (SPP) today published its first Industry Expert Panel (IEP) Recommendation Report assessing competitive proposals for construction of the “Walkemeyer” project: an estimated 21-mile, 115kV line from Walkemeyer to North Liberal in western Kansas. This report includes the IEP’s recommendation to the SPP board of directors for the selection of a designated transmission owner (DTO) and an alternate DTO.

The report’s issuance marks the completion of several years of work to comply with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order 1000. SPP stakeholders developed and FERC approved the Transmission Owner Selection Process (TOSP); SPP’s Competitive Transmission Process Task Force (CTPTF) standardized a request for proposal (RFP) process; and the IEP reviewed, assessed, scored and ranked 11 competitive proposals based on the requirements of the SPP tariff.

“This is a significant milestone that demonstrates the effectiveness of SPP’s stakeholder process,” said Paul Suskie, executive vice president of regulatory policy and general counsel. “We’ve successfully met the requirements of FERC Order 1000 while balancing the confidentiality and equity inherent to a competitive process with our own organization’s values of collaboration, efficiency and transparency.”

FERC Order 1000 requires removal of federal right of first refusal (ROFR) for certain transmission projects. In response to the order, SPP developed its selection process, under which the company competitively solicits proposals for approved projects that no longer qualify for ROFR under its tariff.

Interested parties could apply for participation in the 2015 TOSP process in June 2014 and had 180 days to respond to the Walkemeyer RFP. In November 2015, SPP’s Oversight Committee established SPP’s first IEP that reviewed and evaluated the 11 RFP responses.

After hearing from the IEP at their April 26 meeting in Santa Fe, the SPP board of directors is expected to vote whether to accept IEP’s recommendation.

Download the public report at http://goo.gl/X1dpak, or read more about the transmission owner selection process at http://www.spp.org/engineering/transmission-owner-selection-process/.

About Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

Southwest Power Pool, Inc. manages the electric grid and wholesale energy market for the central United States. As a regional transmission organization, the nonprofit corporation is mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices. Southwest Power Pool and its diverse group of member companies coordinate the flow of electricity across 60,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines spanning 14 states. The company is headquartered in Little Rock, Ark. Learn more at www.spp.org.