A coalition of 10 electricity service providers serving the U.S. Rocky Mountain region said they will begin negotiations for membership in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) regional transmission organization (RTO).
The coalition, called the Mountain West Transmission Group, has been considering membership since 2013, and will move forward now to seek public input and work with SPP stakeholders to approve changes necessary to accommodate the new members.
The Southwest Power Pool earlier this year said it set a wind-penetration record of 52.1 percent, making it the first RTO in North America to serve more than 50 percent of its load at a given time with wind energy.
Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, the participants likely would make filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in mid-2018, and if they decide to pursue integration, it could be finalized by late 2019.
Participants in Mountain West include:
- Basin Electric Power Cooperative, based in Bismarck, N.D.
- Black Hills Energy’s three electric utilities in Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming, subsidiaries of the Rapid City-based Black Hills Corp.
- Colorado Springs Utilities
- Platte River Power Authority, based in Fort Collins, Colo.
- Public Service Co. of Colorado, an operating company of Xcel Energy, based in Denver
- Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, based in Westminster, Colo.
- Western Area Power Administration’s Loveland Area Projects and Colorado River Storage Project
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