Sunday, November 19, 2017

SPP Requests DOE Approval to Export Power to Canada

SPP has filed an application with the Department of Energy seeking permission to transmit electricity from the U.S. into Canada, using member Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s existing transmission facilities in North Dakota.

spp doe basin electric canada

SPP’s proposed exports to Canada would be transmitted via a North Dakota transmission line owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, which has previously been granted export authorization. | Basin Electric

The RTO wants to supply power on an emergency basis for five years, exporting surplus energy in excess of SPP’s load requirements. According to the filing, Basin Electric’s facilities were previously authorized by a presidential executive order and “are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.”

SPP said Thursday that it wants to “address emergency assistance transactions,” but that it doesn’t normally purchase or sell power to or from “such external entities.” In December 2015, it completed its first — and only — international transaction when it imported power from Canadian electric utility SaskPower during an emergency situation in North Dakota. (See SPP, SaskPower Make First International Trade.)

SPP made the filing Nov. 14 pursuant to Section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act. It was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 4.

The Energy Department will evaluate environmental impacts and determine whether the proposed action will negatively affect U.S. electric supplies or reliability before issuing a final opinion. International energy transactions fall within the department’s jurisdiction.

In March, FERC approved the RTO’s request to recognize the U.S.-Canadian border as a point of sale for transactions with Canadian transmission providers. The ruling allows Canadian companies to register their resources with and make them available to the RTO under its market rules. (See “FERC OKs Canadian Border Point-of-Sale Filing,” SPP Briefs.)

SPP gained an interconnection with Canada when Basin Electric became a member in October 2015 as part of the Integrated System.

– Tom Kleckner

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