Thursday, December 14, 2017

Southwest Power Pool Briefs

RTO Juggles Seams Studies, Projects, Reviews

SPP will juggle a number of studies and reviews with its seams neighbors this year, following a 2016 filled with “lots of good stakeholder engagement.”

Adam Bell, SPP’s interregional coordinator, told the Seams Steering Committee last week the major effort could come with MISO. Besides the usual joint studies and regional reviews, the two RTOs could engage in a targeted market efficiency project (TMEP) study, similar to that between MISO and PJM. (See MISO-PJM TMEP Projects Drop to Five.)

Bell said he was not certain whether it would be separate from the joint study already planned for 2017 or rolled into it.

SPP Seams Steering wind generation

“We’re still talking about it,” he said.

SPP and MISO are already working on a targeted coordinated system plan (CSP) that is considering seven potential projects. If the two RTOs agree to move forward on any of the projects, SPP would conduct a separate evaluation allowing stakeholders and the Board of Directors to verify benefits and costs for the RTO. If none of the seven projects moves forward, the RTOs’ staffs will use the CSP results as an input into the 2017 joint study. (See SPP-MISO IPSAC Turns Attention to 2017 Study.)

Bell said the joint study will begin in April and will be “a pretty lengthy process. … We both agreed to a broader, much more comprehensive look following the 2016 study.”

The two RTOs will discuss that during their next Interregional Planning Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting March 9 in Metairie, La.

SPP and Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. wrapped their joint CSP in January, identifying two projects near Springfield, Mo.: a 50-MVAR reactor at Springfield’s 345-kV Brookline substation, and a new 345/161-kV transformer at an AECI substation and an uprate of a related 161-kV line.

The SPP Board of Directors and Markets and Operations Policy Committee both approved the project in January, but it must still go through a regional review.

SPP also meets twice a year with Southeastern Regional Transmission Planning process representatives. The organizations review their regional planning processes, determine whether a study is needed and, toward the end of the year, exchange data.

M2M Report

Staff’s monthly market-to-market report showed MISO piled up its third biggest month yet of M2M payments to SPP in December, with 444 hours of binding resulting in a $1.98 million payment to its neighbor. Temporary flowgates again accounted for most of the payments, with 128 binding hours costing $1.65 million.

MISO has made $14.2 million in M2M payments since the two RTOs began the process in March 2015.

New Representatives Welcomed

The Seams Steering Committee welcomed two new representatives: Nebraska Public Power District’s Dustin Betz and Empire District Electric’s Tina Gaines.

Engineering Dept. Modernizes 2017 ITP 10-Year Report

SPP is using a new medium to explain its Integrated Transmission Planning (ITP) process: a web-based application summarizing a 200-page technical report with appealing graphics and less industry jargon.

Director Antoine Lucas and his transmission planning group developed the 2017 ITP10 story map to simplify the 2017 10-year assessment, which was presented to the MOPC and the board in January. Titled “Strengthening the Grid,” it has been viewed almost 700 times since being published just before the Jan. 31 board meeting.

“We have a diverse audience of stakeholders, ratepayers and regulators,” said Lanny Nickell, vice president of engineering. “It’s crucial that we present the information on which they base their decisions in a way everyone can fully understand and appreciate, especially as our studies become increasingly more comprehensive and complex.”

A team of SPP geographic information systems experts and analysts used the Environmental Systems Research Institute’s Story Maps application to produce a contemporary web design with industry mapping tools already used to visualize Bulk Electric System components. Engineering and communications staff worked together to distill the 2017 ITP10’s assumptions, approach and conclusions.

SPP Sets New Winter Generation Mark

SPP set another record for wind generation Feb. 9 when the footprint produced 13,342 MW of energy, smashing the previous record by more than 1,000 MW. The mark came at 9:34 p.m.

It was SPP’s first wind record for 2017. It established six peaks last year, the last coming Dec. 30 at 12,336 MW.

— Tom Kleckner

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