Western Area Power Administration is actively participating in market strategies to optimize performance amid an era of significant industry change. Customer needs in each region lead the planning effort, including initiatives already underway. WAPA’s participation in and evaluation of regional transmission organizations and other market initiatives is diverse throughout its 15-state footprint and takes regional culture into account.
“At WAPA, it is important we continue to be customer-centric and forward-looking,” said Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel. “As a result, we will continue to proactively evaluate, develop and implement a broad range of strategies to optimize system performance, support federal statutory and contractual obligations and yield customer benefits.”
Market activity and initiatives include:
Upper Great Plains joined the Southwest Power Pool in October 2015 after an extensive cost-benefit analysis was performed. First-year benefits are estimated to exceed the $11.5 million initially estimated in that analysis.
WAPA, through its Rocky Mountain region, including the Colorado River Storage Project Management Center and Loveland Area Projects, partnered with six neighboring utilities to form the Mountain West Transmission Group – a diverse group of utilities that came together in an unprecedented way to look at regional solutions. MWTG is considering the potential net benefits of implementing a common transmission tariff across a multi-state footprint. It is also considering establishing or joining a full market. The MWTG issued a Request for Information for tariff administration and market operator services on May 6 to several entities.
Sierra Nevada actively participates in the California ISO market by delivering federal generation into the market, buying power in the CAISO, bidding ancillary services and working in partnership with the jointly owned California-Oregon Intertie transmission.
Desert Southwest is initiating efforts to work with other utilities and customers to evaluate potential costs and benefits of organized markets.
By participating in regional forums and monitoring market activities, WAPA ensures the ability to leverage industry trends, anticipate required changes and represent customers interested in an ever-changing electric industry.