SPP reports show billions in annual savings, analyze performance during Winter Storm Elliott, and anticipate the grid’s future opportunities and challenges
Studies show that SPP provided $3.787 billion in savings to its members in 2022, performed well during Winter Storm Elliott thanks to lessons learned during the February 2021 Winter Storm Uri, and has a plan to prepare for “game-changing” disruptions expected in the next 10-15 years.
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — At the quarterly meetings of its Regional State Committee (RSC) and Board of Directors and Members Committee (BOD/MC), Southwest Power Pool (SPP) presented reports that quantify its value to members, analyze its performance during the historic December 2022 winter storm, and cast a vision for long-term opportunities and challenges the electric industry should anticipate. SPP also published its 2022 Annual Report, summarizing the organization’s accomplishments, growth and noteworthy milestones in the previous year.
Member Value Statement
SPP’s annual Member Value Statement quantifies the value the regional transmission organization (RTO) provides member organizations through services like reliability coordination, regional transmission planning, market administration and more. The analysis, based on a methodology SPP developed in partnership with its stakeholders, found that SPP provided $3.787 billion in net savings to members in 2022. These benefits come at a 22-to-1 ratio when compared to the cost of membership in the SPP RTO.
“This remarkable benefit-cost ratio demonstrates we are driving value beyond reliability, a core tenet of SPP’s value proposition,” said SPP President and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Sugg.
Winter Storm Elliott
In a special report presented to SPP’s RSC and board, SPP assessed its performance during the Dec. 21-26, 2022 extratropical cyclone known as Winter Storm Elliott. This event affected the entire SPP region and presented significant challenges for SPP and its members. This cold weather event occurred less than two years after February 2021’s Winter Storm Uri, indicating that “historic” extreme weather events may become a regular experience for SPP.
Many lessons SPP learned from its comprehensive review of the 2021 storm were helpful during Elliott. Some of SPP’s recommended changes following Uri are still being developed, with tier 1 recommendations expected to be complete by January 2024 and other recommendations by 2025. This review of Winter Storm Elliott identified additional changes to internal processes, tools and functions that could help it and its stakeholders be better prepared for extreme events in the future.
Grid of the Future
Finally, SPP’s Grid of the Future Report details the analysis conducted by its Future Grid Strategy Advisory Group (FGSAG) over the last year-and-a-half. In 2021, SPP’s board charged the FGSAG with two tasks: to explore how the electric grid will change over the next 10-15 years and make recommendations to SPP and its membership to prepare for those changes. Their report identifies trends and strategic pathways that could be disruptive and game changing for SPP and its members in the future and makes recommendations in five categories: Energy Adequacy, Modeling and Planning; Grid Services, Market Design and Operations; Transmission; Demand-Side Resources; and Innovation and Collaboration.
“While SPP staff are busy with their daily work of keeping the lights on, it’s vital that we’re prepared to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving power grid,” said SPP board chair Susan Certoma.
The future of the electric grid is vitally important to our stakeholders, and this research sets the stage for discussions that will occur among stakeholders to prepare SPP to meet the needs of its members. The FGSAG will work with SPP’s Strategic Planning Committee to track and pursue these recommendations over the coming months. The work to investigate and implement these recommendations will set the stage for subsequent reports on the grid of the future.
About SPP: Southwest Power Pool, Inc. is a regional transmission organization: a not-for-profit corporation mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure and competitive wholesale electricity prices on behalf of its members in 15 states. SPP ensures electric reliability across a region spanning parts of the central and western U.S., provides energy services on a contract basis to customers in both the Eastern and Western Interconnections, and is expanding its RTO and developing a day-ahead energy market in the west. The company’s headquarters are in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more at SPP.org.