A synergistic planning project was recently endorsed by the Southwest Power Pool Inc. (SPP) board of directors. The project is designed to address gaps and conflicts between SPP's transmission planning processes and help position the organization to respond to the Obama administration's focus on improving the electric infrastructure of the U.S.
‘Historically, system planning and cost recovery has been reactive and based on specific requests and projects,’ says Nick Brown, SPP president and CEO. ‘We need to shift to a broader, proactive approach to building and paying for transmission infrastructure.’
SPP's transmission planning processes include the following:
– the aggregate transmission service study queue, which represents requests for long-term use of the transmission system;
– the generation interconnection queue, which represents requests for connecting new generation – including wind – to the electric grid;
– the annual SPP transmission expansion plan, which includes a regional 10-year reliability assessment;
– the new balanced portfolio of economic transmission upgrades, which was recently approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and will allocate region-wide the costs of a group of near-term economic projects; and
– the extra-high-voltage overlay project, which plans up to the year 2027 and provides a strategic assessment of how to meet SPP's future reliability and capacity needs through the use of a 500 kV and 765 kV transmission system overlaying the existing SPP footprint and integrating with neighboring systems.
The project team will report to the SPP board of directors and regional state committee in April and will host a public technical conference prior to finalizing recommendations.
SOURCE: Southwest Power Pool Inc.