- The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) on Tuesday began its Western reliability coordination (RC) service on behalf of more than a dozen utilities in the Western interconnection.
- SPP received certification from the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation in November to provide Western RC service. The regional grid operator is also developing a Western Energy Imbalance Service market to balance generation and load regionally and in real time.
- The moves are part of a shakeup in Western reliability coordinators. Last month, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) launched its own expanded Reliability Coordinator services to 41 entities across 14 Western states and northern Mexico.
It's been more than a year since SPP announced two dozen utilities were interested in its western RC service. The operator now says it is the first regional transmission organization to provide RC services in both the Eastern and Western interconnections.
SPP has operated as a coordinator in the Eastern Interconnection for more than two decades, and takes over providing RC services in the West to customers previously served by Peak Reliability. Peak in 2018 announced it would wind down its own operations.
Reliability Coordinators are tasked with monitoring interconnected power grid networks for compliance with federal and regional standards.
SPP will provide Western RC services to Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Black Hills Energy, El Paso Electric, Intermountain Rural Electric Association, Xcel Energy, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, the Western Area Power Administration and other utilities.
In a statement, SPP said it is "laying the foundation for additional services as part of its Western Energy Services portfolio."
SPP administers the Western Interconnection Unscheduled Flow Mitigation Plan for six western utilities and plans to launch its Western Energy Imbalance Service market in 2021 to provide wholesale electricity and enhanced reliability to participants. The new market would provide an alternative to the California ISO's imbalance market.