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Southwest Power Pool Prepares for the Electric Grid of the Future

Recommendations to align transmission planning and cost allocation, reliably deliver low-cost energy.

Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) Holistic Integrated Tariff Team (HITT) recently presented 21 recommendations meant to:

  • Ensure reliability for a changing generation mix and new technologies.
  • Align transmission planning and cost allocation with the SPP’s market and consolidated balancing authority.
  • Enhance the integrated marketplace to reliably deliver low-cost energy to customers.

The HITT, comprising 15 stakeholders representing the board, members, and regulators, met 17 times in 2018 and 2019 to review the SPP’s cost allocation model, transmission planning processes, integrated marketplace and real-time operations. Their holistic review considered the highly interdependent nature of the SPP’s processes and how changes to one area would impact others.

Through months of vigorous discussion, the team reached consensus on 21 recommendations to improve many aspects of the SPP’s critical functions. Five recommendations will enhance reliability; nine will improve transmission planning and allocation of transmission costs; four will improve the SPP’s wholesale energy market; and three recommendations are strategic, including the development of an energy storage white paper. The full HITT report is available here.

The SPP’s working groups — including the Market Working Group, the Regional State Committee and the Cost Allocation Working Group — will now begin implementing the recommendations. More information on each recommendation, along with a timeline and action plan, is included in the report.

Paul Suskie, staff secretary to the HITT, and the SPP’s executive vice president of regulatory policy and general counsel, said, “Deliberately spending time to review the issues facing the SPP and our industry and the ways they influence one another has been invaluable as we look toward the future.”

“Our industry is changing more rapidly than we’ve ever seen, and through these policy recommendations the SPP is preparing for the electric grid of the future while ensuring all members receive fair and equitable benefits from the SPP,” said Tom Kent, chair of the HITT.

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