As Southwest Power Pool (SPP) continues negotiations to provide reliability coordination in the Western Interconnection, on Aug. 20 it took another step in the westward expansion of its services. A group of six utilities have selected SPP to administer the Western Interconnection Unscheduled Flow Mitigation Plan (WIUFMP), a blueprint for the use of certain controllable devices in the mitigation of congestion along transmission lines in the west.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) accepted the WIUFMP on March 11, 2016. The plan defines processes and procedures by which its administrator may, on behalf of a group of qualified owners and operators (QOO), oversee the use of phase-shifting transformers and other qualified devices to address reliability-threatening circumstances on particular transmission lines in the Western Interconnection. SPP will administer the WIUFMP on behalf of six QOOs: California Independent System Operator, NorthWestern Energy, NV Energy, PacifiCorp, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, and the Western Area Power Administration.
Under the plan, device owners are compensated for the availability and utilization of their equipment in managing grid congestion along qualified paths. As the WIUFMP administrator, SPP will oversee collection of those costs from applicable entities — organizations that generate power; serve load; and buy, sell or transport energy in the Western Interconnection — and payment to device owners. Total compensation to be distributed in the first plan-year of SPP’s oversight is estimated at $3 million. SPP also will collect, analyze and publicly report data on device usage and other aspects of the WIUFMP’s execution.
As a regional transmission organization, SPP has expanded its services and territory significantly over the past 10 years, and it has more than two decades of experience providing reliability-coordination services both to its member companies and on a contract basis to other customers.
“We’re proud the QOOs in the Western Interconnection recognize our experience and expertise in ensuring reliability, managing the grid and managing complex settlements processes,” said Carl Monroe, SPP executive vice president and chief operating officer. “This expansion of our service offerings comes at an exciting time as we’re looking for opportunities to bring SPP’s customer-focused business model to the west.”
SPP’s initial term as WIUFMP administrator will last through Dec. 31, 2020, and will automatically renew in successive one-year terms unless the QOOs choose another administrator. WIUFMP administration previously was conducted by the Western Electricity Coordinating Council.