Powering Strong Communities

Snohomish County PUD, Tacoma Power Execute Funding Agreements Tied to SPP Initiative

Washington State’s Snohomish County PUD and Tacoma Power recently executed funding agreements to participate in the first phase of development of the Southwest Power Pool’s Markets+ initiative.

“We are excited to have a seat at the table to help shape the design of this new market option,” said Adam Cornelius, Snohomish PUD Principal Utility Analyst, in a statement. “The potential of Markets+ to integrate more renewable energy on to the grid and to do so in a cost-effective manner is aligned with the PUD’s goals and strategy to become 100 percent carbon free while keeping rates affordable.”

Snohomish PUD and Tacoma Power join several other organizations that have agreed to participate in the Markets+ phase one development, including Arizona Public Service, Bonneville Power Administration, Chelan PUD, NV Energy, Powerex, Puget Sound Energy, Salt River Project and Tucson Electric Power.

Participation in phase one does not commit utilities to join Markets+. A decision to participate in the market is expected to follow tariff approval.

Snohomish PUD and Tacoma Power are significant new additions to the Markets+ footprint as they represent BPA’s largest and fourth-largest public utility customers, respectively, and serve a significant portion of Washington state’s population.

When combined with BPA, PSE and Chelan PUD, the additions of Tacoma and Snohomish means that most Washingtonians are served by an electric utility participating in the Markets+ development effort.

“Tacoma Power is happy to join our peer utilities in supporting the development of SPP Markets+,” said Clay Norris, Tacoma Power’s Power Management Officer. “Given the significant impacts of moving to centralized day-ahead markets, we think that it is beneficial for utilities across the west to have multiple options to evaluate.”

SPP is developing Markets+, a regional, day-ahead electricity market in the western United States, with funding and participation from a diverse collection of utilities, interest groups and others.

SPP plans to officially announce a complete list of organizations who will participate in phase-one development of Markets+ on April 3.

SPP announced in March that phase one of Markets+ development will see the establishment of a fully independent governance structure. The group’s work will result in market protocols, tariff and governing documents that SPP will eventually file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval in early 2024.

Snohomish County PUD is a public power utility that serves electricity to 365,000 customers and water to 23,000 customers in Snohomish County and Camano Island in Washington state.

Tacoma Power is a division of Tacoma Public Utilities. Publicly owned since 1893, it provides electric service to nearly 179,000 customers in Tacoma, University Place, Fircrest and portions of Fife, Lakewood, Federal Way, Steilacoom, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and incorporated Pierce County, as far south as Roy.