Public power utilities, others commit to SPP for reliability services

Several public power utilities in the West have agreed to receive reliability coordinator (RC) services from the Southwest Power Pool, SPP said on Sept. 17.

SPP on June 5 said that it plans to offer reliability coordination services in the western U.S., specifically the Western Interconnection, starting in late 2019.

Colorado-based Platte River Power Authority, Colorado Springs Utilities and the City of Farmington, New Mexico, a public power community, have committed to receive RC services from SPP, the grid operator said.

SPP also noted it will provide RC services to several Western Area Power Administration regions.

Cooperatives, IOUs

SPP also said that several investor-owned utilities and cooperatives made similar commitments to receive SPP RC services.

IOUs are: Black Hills Energy’s three electric utilities (Black Hills Power, Inc., Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power Company, and Black Hills Colorado Electric, Inc.); El Paso Electric Company; Public Service Company of Colorado (Xcel Energy); and Tucson Electric Power.

Cooperatives are: Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.; Intermountain Rural Electric Association; and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

SPP said that it will soon finalize plans for the governance and operation of its western reliability coordination services. This will include filling a number of positions related to system operations and engineering.

Following a year-long build-out of the necessary systems, processes and staff to support effective reliability coordination, SPP will seek to be certified as an RC in the second half of 2019.

SPP is working with Peak Reliability and California ISO to coordinate operations with other RCs in the Western Interconnection and will ensure there are no gaps in situational awareness throughout customers’ transitions from one RC to another, it went on to say. SPP-provided RC services will be ready to go live in December 2019.

In early 2018, CAISO said that it would become its own reliability coordinator and offer services to other balancing authorities and transmission operators in the western U.S. The ISO gave notice of its withdrawal to its current reliability coordinator, Peak Reliability, and to each of their funding members, effective September 2019.

Peak Reliability on July 18 said that it will cease operation at the end of 2019. The announcement came after a year of effort by Peak Reliability to provide a viable, long-term reliability coordinator option for the West.