The Southwest Power Pool Inc.'s (SPP) board of directors has approved a report that recommends restructuring the organization's regional planning processes. The Synergistic Planning Project Team (SPPT), which was created by the board of directors in January, recommends that SPP adopt a new set of planning principles that focus on the construction of a robust transmission system, large enough in both scale and geography to provide flexibility to meet SPP's future needs.
The following will be part of the new integrated planning process (IPP):
– annual review of transmission expansion needs over a 10-year horizon for reliable delivery of committed transmission service,
– an aggregate transmission service study process that will determine the expansion necessary to meet requests for transmission service,
– a generation interconnection process that will determine the expansion necessary to connect new resources to the grid,
– a balanced portfolio that will assess economic expansion alternatives that provide more benefits than costs in each zone, and
– an extra-high-voltage (EHV) overlay assessment within the next 20 years or more.
The IPP will focus on regional needs and position SPP to prepare for and quickly respond to national energy priorities. A major objective will be the design and construction of a transmission backbone to connect load centers to known or expected large generation resources.
The backbone should more strongly connect SPP's eastern and western regions, strengthen ties to the Eastern Interconnection and be strong enough to possibly connect to the Western Interconnection. Transmission analysis should have a 20-year planning horizon, and financial assessments should have a 40-year horizon. The net cost/benefit of each scenario should be identified by zone and state.
The IPP will use projections to represent a range of plausible future scenarios, including high wind, additional resources from other fuel sources, load growth, demand response and energy efficiency, fuel prices, and environmental/governmental regulations and policies. The recommended IPP will be based on the plan that best accommodates these future states, with the initial plan expected to be completed in early 2011.
SOURCE: Southwest Power Pool Inc.