The Western Area Power Administration on Sept. 12 announced that its Colorado River Storage Project and Rocky Mountain region will pursue final negotiations toward full membership in the Southwest Power Pool Regional Transmission Organization.
WAPA's Upper Great Plains region will pursue final negotiations to expand its participation in the SPP RTO in the Western Interconnection.
“Participating in this initiative to extend the SPP RTO into the West is consistent with WAPA's commitment to develop alternative ways of doing business that retain and increase the value of the resource WAPA markets and the services it provides its customers in a dynamic energy industry,” WAPA said.
WAPA said it remains committed to ensuring the organization and its customers “stay well-positioned to deliver on our mission to safely provide reliable, cost-based hydropower and transmission to our customers and the communities we serve.”
WAPA and other utilities partnering with SPP would expand the availability of resources and coordination within the RTO and enhance access to its services, which include day-ahead wholesale electricity market administration, transmission planning, reliability coordination and resource adequacy.
Alongside WAPA, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Colorado Springs Utilities, Deseret Generation & Transmission Cooperative, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, Platte River Power Authority and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, should they choose, would also participate in SPP's Integrated Marketplace in the Western Interconnection.
Participation in the SPP RTO in the West is expected to provide operational and reliability benefits along with enhanced transmission planning and development mechanisms.
A study commissioned by SPP and conducted by the Brattle Group found that participants' membership in the SPP RTO would produce approximately $49 million in savings annually for current and new members. This is in addition to the expected reliability and transmission benefits.