SPP Files to Incorporate Western Entities into RTO
MOPC Endorses JTIQ Cost Allocation with MISO
SPP filed bylaw amendments at FERC to place seven Western entities under its tariff that, if approved, will make the RTO the first grid operator with markets in both major interconnections.

SPP reached a major milestone June 4 in its efforts to expand into the Western Interconnection when it filed bylaw amendments at FERC to place seven Western entities under its tariff (ER24-2184). 

The revisions would make the RTO the first grid operator with markets in both major interconnections. 

SPP said its expansion would create economic and reliability benefits for all its member companies through access to a larger generation fleet, greater geographic diversity and increased efficiencies in SPP’s energy markets. 

The efficiencies would come by using a single market “optimized solution” across the DC ties that connect the Western and Eastern Interconnections. SPP said that would increase resilience by “leveraging” diverse resources through 510 MW of bidirectional capability, bringing price convergence across the ties. 

“Years of collaboration among SPP staff, existing RTO members and Western entities has resulted in a revised tariff that meets the unique needs of all the entities we serve, and I couldn’t be more thrilled,” SPP CEO Barbara Sugg said in a statement. 

The grid operator said its newest members can expect to see more than $200 million in annual benefits. It said the Integrated Marketplace saved Eastern Interconnection members $3.6 billion last year. 

SPP’s RTO West is scheduled to go live in April 2026. 

The bylaw amendments were approved during the May 7 meeting of the Board of Directors and Members Committee. The board also approved a package of 16 tariff revisions that include establishing a Western balancing authority area and managing transactions across the DC ties. 

Settlements would be based on transmission service reservations during the market’s first four years. After that, they would be based on transmission congestion rights. (See “Bylaw Changes for RTO West,” SPP Board of Directors/MC Briefs: May 7, 2024.) 

SPP has been working quietly with parties interested in evaluating the benefits and requirements of RTO membership since October 2020. Initial RTO expansion terms and conditions were approved in July 2021, and the DC tie terms and conditions in July 2022. 

The entities pursuing RTO membership are: 

    • Basin Electric Power Cooperative; 
    • Colorado Springs Utilities; 
    • Deseret Power Electric Cooperative; 
    • Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska; 
    • Platte River Power Authority; 
    • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association; and 
    • the Western Area Power Administration’s Colorado River Storage Project Management Center, Rocky Mountain and Upper Great Plains regions. 
  • The expansion would add Arizona, Colorado and Utah to SPP’s current 14-state footprint and increase the size of its service territory in Wyoming. SPP’s Regional State Committee, composed of regulators from the RTO’s states, would add four new seats to accommodate the new members. 

Representatives from the seven entities would serve on the Members Committee and SPP’s key stakeholder group, the Markets and Operations Policy Committee. Also, several Western-specific working groups would be formed to focus on issues affecting the new members. 

Tri-State CEO Duane Highley, who led SPP member Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., said his organization is “enthusiastically” looking forward to participating in RTO West as it looks to advance its energy transition. 

“The full benefits of the RTO, including a day-ahead market, an ancillary services market, efficient regional transmission planning, common transmission tariff and participatory governance model, help us to further reduce costs for our cooperative members across the West,” he said. 

“The RTO offers unprecedented access to regional transmission and generation resources that will help us reach our emission-reduction goals, add more renewable energy, manage customer costs and ensure the reliability of our electric grid,” Colorado Springs CEO Travas Deal said. 


MOPC on June 7 approved a tariff revision request that establishes a cost-allocation framework for projects in the Joint Targeted Interconnection Queue (JTIQ) with MISO. 

The change (RR620) addresses chronic transmission issues along the seam with MISO related to generator interconnection requests and implements cost-allocation policies already approved by SPP’s state regulators. It also memorializes and defines how the JTIQ process will be implemented and applied once executed. 

SPP and MISO have been working since 2020 to identify projects along their seam that can help unlock new generation and resolve congestion issues in the absence of interregional projects. They have agreed on a direct billing approach that assigns 90% of the JTIQ portfolio’s $1.06 billion in costs for its five projects to generation. Load will cover the remaining 10%. (See MISO, SPP Propose 90-10 Cost Split for JTIQ Projects.) 

“The revision request determines how we’ll treat costs, security requirements and congestion-hedging mechanisms,” SPP’s Aaron Shipley told MOPC members. “We feel the benefits help provide some longer-term solutions and a different way to think about chronic issues … hopefully bringing added capacity to that area and helping those issues.” 

The measure passed with 89% approval over opposition from renewable interests. While recognizing the need to facilitate more generation in areas that have been “struggling,” they said the framework risks the JTIQ’s success. 

“The reason we are where we are today is in part because of the failure of our interregional planning processes to produce anything meaningful,” the Advanced Power Alliance’s Steve Gaw said. “This is the first time that projects are even at a point where there could be some projects that come out of this. The only reason it’s moving forward is because the costs are being assigned to generators, and that should not be the way we look at how we do regional planning. We should be looking at how this potentially gets us to a point where we have [a] significant look at who’s benefiting and how those benefits flow.” 

The RSC (June 10), and the board and the MC (June 12), will take up RR620 in similar special meetings. SPP will coordinate the FERC filing with MISO, which also has several special meetings set up in June. The RTOs are targeting a filing by August. 

SPP will seek board approval of the JTIQ portfolio if FERC accepts the tariff revisions and updates to its joint operating agreement with MISO. 

Ancillary ServicesArizonaColoradoEnergy MarketNebraskaNorth DakotaPublic PolicySPP Markets and Operations Policy CommitteeSPP Regional State CommitteeTransmission OperationsTransmission PlanningUtah

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