SPP Moves Forward With Market Service for Western Utilities

SPP Moves Forward With Market Service for Western Utilities

Southwest Power Pool of Little Rock has published details on a power service to western U.S. markets called Markets+, and will engage with potential customers to formalize contractual commitments, the regional transmission organization announced Wednesday.

Parties interested in developing their power markets are asked to sign up with a first-phase financing agreement by April 1, 2023.

The transmission organization, which oversees the grid and power markets across 17 central and western states, describes Markets+ as “a conceptual bundle of services to centralize day-ahead and real-time unit commitment and dispatch, use hurdle-free transmission services” across SPP’s footprint and pave the way for reliable integration of a growing number of renewable generation sources.

Utilities that see value in the services but aren’t ready to pursue full membership in an RTO will have access to incremental opportunities to take advantage of significant benefits, SPP officials said in a news release.

“Collaboration with western stakeholders to design the Markets+ service offering has been a tremendous effort,” SPP President and CEO Barbara Sugg said in a statement from Little Rock. “Thanks to the dedication and engagement of these entities over the past year, I’m confident we can design and deliver a market that addresses challenges unique to the region and provides value to western customers.”

Since December 2021, SPP has worked with western stakeholders to learn their goals for a proposed day-ahead and real-time market. The transmission organization staff collaborated with potential customers in webinars and in-person meetings to develop the Markets+ offering, which details how the service would address things like governance structures, market designs and transmission availability.

The final service offering contemplates a two-phase process for developing Markets+. In the initial phase, potential participants and stakeholders would financially commit to designing the market protocols, tariff and governing documents involved. Phase two will begin when approval comes from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In this phase, SPP will acquire necessary software and hardware while participating entities fully commit to fund the service and are integrated into the system.

On Nov. 7, SPP announced the 2023 implementation of major components of the Markets+ governance structure and the exploration of a transitional real-time balancing market in 2024. And earlier this year, it received letters of intent for the next phase of Markets+ development from several Pacific Northwest and Desert Southwest power entities.

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