- FERC has accepted a proposal to significantly grow the Southwest Power Pool, expanding the geographic footprint of the regional power market to include a significant portion of the Upper Great Plains.
- SPP’s proposal integrates Western Area Power Administration-Upper Great Plains Region, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Heartland Consumers Power District into the pool.
- Federal officials say the decision increases efficiency and reliability for the newly combined market. The new members provide the backbone of the bulk electric transmission system across seven states in the Upper Great Plains region.
FERC's decision expands the geographic footprint of SPP to include a portion of the Upper Great Plains that spans the Eastern and Western Interconnections of the U.S. electric grid. FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur called the decision a "positive step that greatly expands customer access to organized markets, particularly in the upper-Midwest region, and increases efficiency and reliability for the newly combined market.”
The new members will place their respective transmission facilities under the functional control of SPP, and begin taking transmission service under the SPP tariff.
Basin Electric serves 2.8 million customers in territories covering approximately 540,000 square miles using nearly 2,100 miles of transmission lines and 70 switch yards. Heartland is a public corporation and political subdivision of South Dakota which provides wholesale power to 28 municipalities in the eastern portion of the South Dakota, southwest Minnesota, and northwest Iowa, to six South Dakota state agencies, and to one electric cooperative in South Dakota.
Combined, the new SPP entrants have about 9,500 miles of transmission lines.