February 10, 2017

With DOE approval, Southwest Power Pool now authorized to export power into Canada

Southwest Power Pool (SPP) on Feb. 7 received notice that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approved an application to export energy to Saskpower, Saskatchewan’s leading electricity supplier. Terms of the 5-year export license specify that SPP may export up to 150 MW of instantaneous power and up to 900 GWh of power during any consecutive 12-month period.

SPP and Saskpower entered into a joint operating agreement (JOA) that defined the terms and conditions of emergency energy transactions between the two. The DOE’s approval grants SPP the presidential authority required to transact power across the nation’s border.

The need to negotiate a JOA was precipitated in October 2015 by SPP’s expansion to the Canadian border when Basin Electric Power Cooperative transferred functional control of its transmission system to SPP and began operating in the regional transmission organization. A seam was created between SPP and Saskpower at the site of a facility that interfaces with the latter and is operated by Basin Electric on the Canadian border in northwest North Dakota.

“The ability to reliably manage the transmission grid is highly dependent on interconnected utilities and markets working together,” said Carl Monroe, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “With a JOA in place and authority granted by the DOE, SPP and Saskpower are now equipped to provide mutual assistance to one another in cases where one or the other might experience threats to electric reliability.”

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.

Derek Wingfield, 501-614-3394, dwingfield@spp.org