Powering Strong Communities

Salt River Project Commits to Supporting Next Phase of SPP Markets Development

Public power utility Salt River Project (SRP) is one of several Arizona entities that have committed to supporting the next phase of the Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) “Markets+” development, SPP said recently.

SRP, along with Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Arizona Public Service Company and Tucson Electric Power join seven other entities who previously committed to supporting market development.

In a late August 2022 letter, the four Arizona entities declared their intent to work with SPP to build a market that includes “both a workable governance framework and a robust market design. This will be an important milestone that will enable us to collectively move forward to the next phase.”

These entities combined serve over 20,000 MW of peak demand in the desert southwest.  With this announcement, SPP has now received interest in supporting the next phase of Markets+ development from entities that serve over 50,000 MW of combined peak demand.

Since December 2021, SPP has been working with western stakeholders to learn what they would like out of a proposed day-ahead and real-time market. Based on its potential customers’ input, SPP will develop the Markets+ draft service offering, which will explain how Markets+ will address things like governance structure, market design and transmission availability.

Last month, eight entities in the Pacific Northwest announced their intent to commit to phase one of Markets+ development: Bonneville Power Administration, Avista Corp., Chelan County Public Utility District, Grant County Public Utility District, Powerex Corp., Puget Sound Energy and Tacoma Power.

SPP said that Markets+ is a conceptual bundle of services proposed by SPP that would centralize day-ahead and real-time unit commitment and dispatch, provide hurdle-free transmission service across its footprint and pave the way for the reliable integration of a rapidly growing fleet of renewable generation.

For utilities that see value in these services but who aren’t ready to pursue full membership in a regional transmission organization (RTO) at this time, Markets+ provides a voluntary, incremental opportunity to realize significant benefits.

SPP staff met with western stakeholders Aug. 9-10 in Portland, Oregon to review work done on the service offering and discuss outstanding items and next steps.

The draft service offering will be distributed Sept. 30, followed by a public comment period, with the final service offering distributed Nov. 18.