March 2, 2023

Markets+ phase one development confirmed with first western market commitments

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — Southwest Power Pool (SPP) announced several parties have executed funding agreements for the development of Markets+, its western energy market. With the commitment of Arizona Public Service, Bonneville Power Administration, Chelan County Public Utility District, NV Energy, Powerex Corp., Puget Sound Energy, Salt River Project and Tucson Electric Power, the next phase of Markets+ development will begin immediately, ahead of the planned start date of April 1. SPP has also executed stakeholder agreements with participants who do not serve load or own generation but, while not contributing to funding Markets+ in phase one, will participate in the development of the Markets+ stakeholder process. 

“Reaching critical mass for phase one participation is a monumental step in bringing Markets+ closer to reality,” said Barbara Sugg, SPP president and chief executive officer. “A regional market will mean reduced costs for members, improved reliability, improved grid efficiency, increased trading opportunities, and progress toward renewable integration goals. We are grateful for these participants’ efforts to reach this milestone, and we look forward to continued collaboration in the months ahead.”

This group of entities operates a diverse mix of generating resources and serves more than 250,000 annual gigawatt-hours of energy in the Western Interconnection, representing more than 40 gigawatts of peak demand.

“Salt River Project is glad to join our utility peers in supporting the next phase of SPP Markets+ development and engage with SPP as they develop this proposal which has the potential to benefit our customers, the western region and many in our industry,” said Josh Robertson, director of energy market strategy at Salt River Project.

“Puget Sound Energy is excited to be a leader in designing SPP’s Markets+ as the company looks to organized markets for achieving a transformational clean energy future for its customers,” said Ron Roberts, Puget Sound Energy’s vice president of energy supply.

During this phase of market development, stakeholders and SPP staff will collaborate to develop the market protocols, tariff and governing documents for Markets+. Major components of the Markets+ governance structure will be established during this phase to facilitate stakeholder collaboration in these efforts, most notably the Markets+ Participants Executive Committee, Market Design Working Group, Transmission Working Group and Seams Working Group.

“We are very encouraged to see Markets+ moving forward into tariff design,” said Powerex Corp. President and CEO Tom Bechard. “We are especially pleased that SPP is standing up the Markets+ governance framework which will allow all stakeholders to be involved in, and have a meaningful influence on, the tariff design.”

SPP released the detailed proposal for its western energy market Nov. 30, 2022. Additional parties interested in committing to funding further market development must sign a Markets+ Market Participant Phase One Funding Agreement by April 1, 2023.

"Arizona Public Service powers one of the fastest growing service territories in the country,” said Justin Joiner, Arizona Public Service vice president of resource management. “We’re engaging in Markets+ development to explore designs that provide the best value for our customers and maintain a long-term, resilient energy supply for the communities we serve.”

For more than a year, SPP has worked with western stakeholders to develop a proposed day-ahead and real-time market that meets the needs of western utilities to centralize unit commitment and dispatch, bring additional savings to customers and pave the way for the reliable integration of a rapidly growing fleet of renewable generation.

“We’re excited about the potential benefits that Markets+ could generate for our customers,” said Erik Bakken, Tucson Electric Power’s vice president of energy resources and chief sustainability officer. “Expanding market options in our region can improve our ability to integrate renewable resources without compromising reliability, helping us achieve Tucson Electric Power’s ambitious clean energy goals.”

Bonneville Power Authority formally announced their commitment to funding phase one development of Markets+ Feb. 24. They previously announced their intent to participate in Markets+ development in August 2022, with the other funding entities declaring commitments in August and September.

“The Bonneville Power Administration’s contribution to phase one funding of SPP Markets+ is an investment that we expect to provide multiple benefits to BPA and its customers,” said BPA Administrator and CEO John Hairston. “Markets such as this are the future of operations in the West, and this ensures BPA and its customers will keep pace and help shape these important initiatives.”

Derek Wingfield, 501-614-3394,