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WAPA Upper Great Plains Region proposes to join SPP


From the November 4, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published November 4, 2013

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director

The Upper Great Plains Region of the Western Area Power Administration has recommended pursuing formal negotiations to join the Southwest Power Pool. Western is seeking comments on the recommendation, to be filed by Dec. 16, and expects to make a final decision on the proposal before the end of the year.

"This important business decision acknowledges the reality of changing markets in the electricity industry," Western Administrator Mark Gabriel said. "Due to the unique footprint of our Upper Great Plains Region, and the growth of organized markets around that footprint, we continue to face increasing constraints and costs to reliably deliver power to our firm power customers."

"This proposal to join SPP is an opportunity to keep our costs low and efficiently serve our customers in the Upper Great Plains Region," said Upper Great Plains Regional Manager Robert Harris.

The Upper Great Plains Region markets Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin–Eastern Division power and energy to preference customers in Montana east of the Continental Divide, North Dakota, South Dakota, western Minnesota and Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Western operates the area’s Integrated Transmission System, which is owned by Western, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, and Heartland Consumers Power District.

The Upper Great Plains Region and the other Integrated Transmission System owners have studied several forms of potential RTO participation since the 1990s, WAPA said. Beginning in 2011, the Integrated Transmission System participants began to evaluate potential options of joining SPP, joining the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or continuing operations on a stand-alone basis. These studies identified the option to join SPP as having the most benefit, WAPA said.

Western plans to present a detailed explanation of the proposal and listen to customer and stakeholder comments at meetings in Lincoln, Neb.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Moorhead, Minn., or Fargo, N.D.; during the 45-day comment period. Dates and locations of these meetings will be posted on the Upper Great Plains website.

More information is available in an Oct. 31 Federal Register announcement

 

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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella
202/467-2948
JLaBella@publicpower.org

Editorial Director
Robert Varela
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Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson
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