SPP’s role in western reliability continues to grow with addition of new customers in four states
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — Southwest Power Pool’s western reliability coordination service will expand in 2021 with the addition of eight new generating resources managed by Gridforce Energy Management in Washington, Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico. The agreement with Gridforce comes as SPP finishes its first year ensuring reliability on behalf of customers in the Western Interconnection. As reliability coordinator (RC), SPP has not only helped its own customers keep the lights on across a region stretching from Montana to the Texas panhandle but has also contributed to the overall reliability of the entire western grid by optimizing the use of available resources, working with neighboring entities to coordinate and minimize the impact of outages, and constantly maintaining a wide-area view of the bulk power system.
Beginning April 1, 2021, SPP will ensure the dependability of the bulk power grid in its role as a certified reliability coordinator on behalf of generators representing 3,450 megawatts of generating capacity that are part of the grid balancing authority area managed by Gridforce.
SPP launched its RC services in the western interconnection Dec. 3, 2019, and it serves as the RC for 13 transmission operators and nine balancing authorities, including three in Arizona managed by Gridforce: Griffith Energy, Arlington Valley and New Harquahala Generating Company.
“Gridforce is very pleased to continue its relationship with SPP,” Gridforce President C.J. Ingersoll said. “The expansion of SPP’s reliability coordinator services assists our own expansion and growth in support of our clients. Gridforce will continue to work with clients that receive reliability coordinator services from both SPP and RC West, and we are looking forward to continued focus on reliable system operations and the benefits of working with highly capable RCs.”
“We’re happy to see our reputation as a service-provider of choice growing in the west,” said Bruce Rew, SPP’s senior vice president of operations. “As western utilities consider the best way to keep the lights on, keep the costs of wholesale energy as low as possible and meet goals like renewable standards, we want the chance to prove ourselves just as we’ve done for eastern utilities since 1941.”
SPP has been certified since 1998 by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to provide reliability coordination services to customers in the Eastern Interconnection. It received NERC certification to provide similar service in the west and launched its Western Reliability Coordination service with 15 customers in December 2019. SPP is developing a real-time balancing market that will facilitate the purchase and sale of wholesale energy among participants and is scheduled to launch Feb. 1, 2021.
About SPP: Southwest Power Pool, Inc. is a regional transmission organization: a not-for-profit corporation mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices on behalf of its members. SPP manages the electric grid across 17 central and western U.S. states and provides energy services on a contract basis to customers in both the Eastern and Western Interconnections. The company’s headquarters are in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more at SPP.org.