Committee Begins Engagement in Mountain West Integration
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — SPP’s Regional State Committee will later this month begin taking a lead role in Mountain West Transmission Group’s integration into the RTO, with the first of what will likely be many calls and meetings on the subject.
SPP has identified the RSC as one of the key stakeholder groups in Mountain West’s pursuit of membership. The committee has primary responsibility for cost allocation, financial transmission rights, resource adequacy and remote resources planning within the RTO’s current 14-state footprint.
Staff played up the importance of the RTO’s role during a recent appearance before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. (See Col. Regulators Talk Governance with SPP, Mountain West.)
“This is a wonderful strategic opportunity for SPP,” CEO Nick Brown told RSC members Oct. 30. “Expanding our market and lowering our administrative rates both carry significant benefits to SPP members and significant benefits to the Mountain West Transmission Group.
“Now’s the time to engage … please stay that way,” Brown implored. “The next couple of months will be critical.”
SPP will use a commissioners’ forum to work through several policy issues as the integration process moves into more open forums. Some work will still take place behind closed doors, with the Strategic Planning Committee holding executive sessions Nov. 21 and Dec. 4. (See SPP, Mountain West Integration Work Goes Public.)
Mountain West has asked SPP to expand the RSC to include a group consisting of just the Western states, resulting in a single committee with two regional divisions. It has also proposed a Westside Transmission Owners Committee that would have decision-making authority over cost allocation, zonal changes and transmission revenue requirements in what would become the west side of the RTO.
Wind Likely to be SPP’s No. 2 Fuel in 2017
SPP Vice President of Operations Bruce Rew told the RSC that the Integrated Marketplace continues to work “very well,” despite the growing influence of wind energy in the RTO’s footprint.
Rew said wind will likely become the No. 2 fuel source for 2017, behind only coal. Coal has accounted for 46.9% of the RTO’s fuel mix year-to-date, with wind averaging 22.0% and gas 19.4%, respectively.
Almost 16.7 GW of wind energy is installed and operational in SPP, with another 690 MW registered but not yet operational.
Rew said the RTO came close to setting new records for both wind production and summer peak demand during the third quarter. Wind production peaked at 13.32 GW on Sept. 21, just short of the record of 13.34 GW set in April. On Sept. 22, SPP averaged just more than 12 GW of wind energy for the entire day, Rew said.
Wind penetration during the quarter peaked at 49.41% of system load on Sept. 8. SPP’s record is still 54.47% wind penetration, set in April.
Summer demand peaked at 50.57 GW in July, not far off the all-time peak of 50.62 GW set in 2016.
Rew said 197 market participants are currently active in the markets. Of those, 130 are classified as financial-only and 67 as asset-owning. He said the day-ahead market was delayed from posting once in the last 12 months, and the real-time balancing market has successfully solved 99.87% of all intervals.
Kansas’ Albrecht Elected as RSC’s 2018 President
The RSC unanimously elected the Kansas Corporation Commission’s Shari Feist Albrecht as its president for 2018, replacing Missouri Public Service Commissioner Steve Stoll. Albrecht currently serves as the committee’s vice president.
South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner Kristie Fiegen will become the committee’s vice president next year, with Dennis Grennan of the Nebraska Power Review Board replacing Fiegen as the RSC’s secretary and treasurer.
The committee also approved a 2018 budget of $370,500, with the understanding that $50,000 to $150,000 could be allocated for consulting expenses for its Mountain West work.
— Tom Kleckner