SPP, MISO ‘Extremely Close’ to Settlement of Seams Dispute
KANSAS CITY — SPP General Counsel Paul Suskie briefed the Regional State Committee last week on several seams and interregional issues. At times, however, he could say little.
Stressing the confidentiality of settlement negotiations with MISO over its use of a 1,000-MW contract path between its North and South regions, Suskie said, “I can say all parties are extremely close to a settlement. Hopefully, that will be resolved in the near future.”
Suskie said settlement negotiations also are ongoing with five seams neighbors who were among those intervening or filing protests with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding Tariff and bylaw changes to accommodate the Integrated System: Missouri River Energy Services, Montana Dakota Utilities, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, Montana Consumers Council and Otter Tail Power.
Suskie said the issues are not a roadblock to the Integrated System’s incorporation. “If these negotiations aren’t resolved, they will simply be referred to hearing,” he said.
With the Integrated System’s full incorporation, SPP will create a northern seam in North Dakota. Suskie said the interconnection will be limited, consisting of a 230-kV line with Saskatchewan utility SaskPower. SaskPower will be SPP’s first international market participant.
Suskie also briefed the committee on SPP’s interregional projects with MISO. The projects, all recommended for approval by a joint SPP-MISO study, include construction of a 345-kV line between Nebraska and Kansas, a series reactor on a 115-kV line in northeast Louisiana, and the rebuild of a 138-kV line south from Shreveport to Wallace Lake.
The projects are now going through each RTO’s regional-review process; SPP completed its in time for the April board meeting. The largest, the 78-mile, 345-kV Elm Creek-NSUB construction project, has an estimated cost of $140.6 million. Because SPP will receive 80% of the project’s benefit, Suskie said, it will pick up 80% of the costs, which will be allocated under the RTO’s highway/byway allocation process. (See 3 MISO-SPP Transmission Projects Move Forward.)
Integrated Marketplace Performing Well
Bruce Rew, SPP’s vice president of operations, delivered a one-year update on the Integrated Marketplace, saying its system availability has exceeded expectations, with the real-time balancing market successfully solving 99.95% of all its five-minute intervals.
He said the market had been delayed from posting just twice — once in June 2014 due to a modeling issue and again in December when a software problem affected participants’ ability to submit offers.
SPP’s balancing authority has maintained compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corp. standards, Rew said, and capacity overage has been reduced from the previous energy imbalance service (EIS) market. The EIS market’s final two months, January and February 2014, averaged more than 6,000 MW of un-dispatched capacity. The Integrated Marketplace has exceed 3,500 MW just once.
The Integrated Marketplace went online with 103 market participants. There are now 148 participants, with 98 classified as financial-only and 50 as asset-owning. The EIS market, by contrast, had only 50 participants.
SPP is currently testing improvements to its market-clearing engine performance and day-ahead reliability unit commitment process.
Bylaws, Waiver Request
The RSC also accepted recommended changes to its bylaws, reviewed updates from the July Markets and Operations Policy Committee meeting and approved SPP’s recommendation to reject Kansas City Power and Light’s waiver request to revise a transformer’s voltage level for cost-allocation purposes.
— Tom Kleckner