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Another Western Prospect to Study Joining SPP

2 min read

Southwest Power Pool has a prospect for joining the regional transmission organization headquartered in Little Rock: the nonprofit Platte River Power Authority of Fort Collins, Colorado.

The utility issued a notice of intent this month to join several Western entities evaluating participation in SPP. Platte River announced in January its plans to join SPP’s Western Energy Imbalance Service effective next April, and recognized in a recent notice of intent that participating with SPP would be valuable.

Platte River, a political subdivision of the state of Colorado, serves Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland, and the town of Estes Park. The municipalities, which own the utility, together have a population of about 350,000 in a region an hour’s drive north of Denver.

“We look forward to joining the WEIS next year and SPP’s RTO in 2025,” Melie Vincent, Platte River’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “Participation will enhance the ability to achieve the noncarbon energy goal of Platte River and our owner communities while maintaining our commitment to system reliability and financial sustainability.”

Platte River is the latest addition to a herd of Western electric utilities that have publicly committed to exploring membership in the Western Interconnection. SPP administers the WEIS market by contracting with electricity providers, offering services like market administration, transmission planning and reliability coordination.

According to the news release, SPP in 2021 saved its members nearly $2.7 billion, stacked against $149 million in net revenue requirement costs, a benefit-to-cost ration of 18 to 1.

Bruce Rew, SPP’s senior vice president of operations, said he’s glad Platte River will be in the WEIS market soon, poised to study what full RTO membership could offer. “Our continued collaboration will enable us to help them reliably and economically serve their communities” while meeting a goal of delivering 80% of its power to be generated from renewable sources.

SPP is a not-for-profit organization with a mission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to manage the grid in a 17-state footprint of the central United States and the mountain West.

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