SPP opens lines of communication with western reliability-coordination customers with new stakeholder forum
LITTLE ROCK, AR – Following its June 5 announcement that SPP would look to provide reliability-coordination services in the Western Interconnection, the regional transmission organization (RTO) and North American Reliability Corporation (NERC)-certified Reliability Coordinator (RC) convened Aug. 2 with interested parties at the first meeting of its new Western Reliability Working Group (WRWG).
The WRWG will eventually become a forum for customers and other stakeholders of SPP’s western reliability-coordination services to engage in matters of RC-related governance and strategy. In the meantime, while service agreements are still being negotiated, meetings like today’s and others to follow serve as a jumping-on point for entities looking to learn about SPP or to have a say in the development of the RTO’s service offerings in the west.
“SPP has more than 75 years of experience as a regional grid operator, and we’ve built a reputation as a reliable, effective and relationship-based organization among our members, market participants and other contract customers,” said Carl Monroe, SPP’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We hope these initial meetings of the WRWG — not to mention a transparent, open-door policy that welcomes questions and concerns from any interested party — will demonstrate our dependability and customer-focused attitude in the west, where we understand our potential customers may still be feeling us out.”
SPP has thus far received letters of intent from 28 western entities — representing 200 terawatt-hours of net energy for load (NEL) — interested in receiving reliability-coordination services on a contract basis. SPP acts as the RC for a territory that includes all or part of 14 states and reaches from the Canadian border to the Texas panhandle.
The RTO is experienced in managing the diversity of a broad roster of members and geographically expansive footprint, both of which pose unique and numerous operational, regulatory, environmental and political challenges that have helped shape and hone its transmission system, processes and tools. It also has served as RC to numerous organizations on a contract basis in the past.
“We see the potential to provide our services to new customers in the west as a huge opportunity to enhance reliability in the Western Interconnection while simultaneously benefitting our existing customers through economies of scale and resulting cost savings,” said Bruce Rew, SPP vice president of operations. “We’re eager to meet with potential customers, work with them to develop systems and processes to address their distinct needs, and begin a new chapter in the evolution of the power grid in the west.”
Additional WRWG meetings — which may be attended in person or by phone — will be scheduled soon on SPP.org. Those interested in learning more about SPP’s provision of RC service in the west are encouraged to register and attend or to contact SPP’s customer relations department.
About SPP: 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 66,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines spanning 14 states. The company’s headquarters are in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more at www.spp.org.