Southwest Power Pool seeks DOE approval for electricity sales into Canada

Dive Brief:

  • The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) has applied to the Department of Energy for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada.

  • SPP would transmit the electricity on an emergency basis for five years using existing international transmission facilities owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

  • The exported electricity would be surplus energy in excess of SPP’s load requirements. SPP did not provide reasoning for the proposal in its request, and did not return requests for comment before press time.

Dive Insight:

With the integration of Basin Electric in October 2015, SPP’s grid reached into Canada.

Basin Electric’s systems' deliver electricity to 2.9 million consumers in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, and New Mexico.

SPP’s territory covers portions of the same states, as well as Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.

In the wake of Basin Electric joining SPP, the organization in January 2016 asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve tariffs that would allow recognize the U.S.-Canadian border as a point of sale for transactions with a Canadian transmission provider.

FERC approved the request in March 2016. Canadian entities were able to participate in SPP markets, and the approval provided regulatory clarity for those transactions, SPP told Transmission Hub.

The approval allows Canadian entities to register resources and make them available under SPP’s market rules.

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Filed Under: Generation Transmission & Distribution Regulation & Policy