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SPP Expands Reliability Coordinating Services for Western Grid

2 min read

Southwest Power Pool, the not-for-profit Little Rock electric grid coordinator, announced Tuesday that it is expanding its reliability coordination service in the western United States, adding eight generation resources managed by Gridforce Energy Management in Washington State, Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico.

SPP, a regional transmission organization authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to coordinate and monitor a 14-state power grid, has spent the past year working on reliability issues in an area served by the Western Interconnection.

As the region’s reliability coordinator, SPP is keeping the power flowing efficiently across a stretch of the west from Montana to the Texas Panhandle. The agreement with Gridforce for the extra generation is part of SPP’s efforts to optimize available western resources and minimize the impact of power outages while maintaining a wide view of the bulk power system.

On April 1, SPP will become a certified reliability coordinator for generators providing nearly 3,500 megawatts of capacity in the area managed by Gridforce, according to a company news release.

Southwest Power Pool introduced its reliability coordination services to the Western Interconnection late last year, and it serves as coordinator for 13 transmission operators and nine balancing authorities, including three in Arizona managed by Gridforce: Griffith Energy, Arlington Valley and New Harquahala Generating Co.

“Gridforce is very pleased to continue its relationship with SPP,” Gridforce President C.J. Ingersoll said in the release. “The expansion of SPP’s reliability coordinator services assists our own expansion and growth in support of our clients.”

Bruce Rew, Southwest Power Pool’s senior vice president of operations, said SPP’s reputation is growing as a western service provider. “As western utilities consider the best way to keep the lights on, keep the costs of wholesale energy as low as possible and meet goals like renewable standards, we want the chance to prove ourselves just as we’ve done for eastern utilities since 1941,” Rew said in a statement.

SPP has been certified since 1998 by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) to provide reliability coordination services to customers in the Eastern Interconnection. It received NERC certification to provide similar service in the west and launched its Western Reliability Coordination service with 15 customers in December 2019. SPP is developing a real-time balancing market that will facilitate the purchase and sale of wholesale energy among participants and is scheduled to launch Feb. 1.

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