SPP’s first gas pipeline member represents close collaboration across industries
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — Southwest Power Pool (SPP) welcomed its newest member, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc., effective Nov. 1. Their membership is a representation of steps both organizations are taking to encourage closer coordination between the electric and gas industries based on lessons learned during Winter Storm Uri.
SPP and Southern Star already have an effective working relationship, which was vital during the February 2021 winter weather event when they collaborated to address fuel supply issues in their shared footprint.
“Southern Star has a similar corporate culture to SPP and is very customer focused,” said CJ Brown, SPP director of systems operations. “We have helped educate both organizations’ staff about our respective business, and that has been extremely helpful as we experienced operational issues. I am very excited to see Southern Star join SPP and look forward to many more years of partnership.”
During SPP’s comprehensive review of the winter weather event, staff identified gas supply issues as one reason for the forced generation outages that ultimately led to controlled interruptions of service. There were three fuel assurance recommendations related to improvement of gas-electric coordination. SPP’s new gas pipeline member represents its efforts to strategically align with fuel resources and enhance the coordination between the electric and gas industries.
“Southern Star is excited to become a member of Southwest Power Pool and explore innovations in the electric and gas industries,” said Jimmy Staton, Southern Star president and CEO. “We look forward to building strategic initiatives to improve gas-electric harmonization across the country benefiting all stakeholders while finding efficiencies as energy providers.”
This new collaboration builds on a relationship with Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline that SPP has maintained for nearly a decade. During that time, Southern Star and SPP have been great strategic partners as both organizations have worked to strengthen gas-electric coordination.