March 14, 2023

SPP’s independent and inclusive Markets+ governance model allows diverse voices to drive western market development

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — Southwest Power Pool (SPP) announced details of the governance structure that will oversee phase-one development of Markets+, its day-ahead and real-time western market. The Markets+ phase-one governance structure will have decision-making authority regarding market tariff language, protocols and governing documents to be filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“SPP’s success has always relied on the integrity of our governance model,” said Antoine Lucas, SPP’s vice president of markets who is overseeing efforts to build and launch Markets+. “The model designed to govern Markets+ builds on that legacy of success. It will ensure stakeholders from across the Western Interconnection who represent the diverse interests of western states all have a voice in the design, development and administration of Markets+.”

Markets+ will have fully independent governance from day one, giving western stakeholders a meaningful say in the implementation of a market meant to meet their unique needs. Phase-one governance consists of the Interim Markets+ Independent Panel (IMIP), Markets+ State Committee (MSC), Markets+ Participants Executive Committee (MPEC) and multiple working groups and task forces like the Market Design Working Group, Seams Working Group and Greenhouse Gas Task Force.

“A regional day-ahead energy market offers western utilities a means to advance clean energy goals and provide cost savings for customers by leveraging load and resource diversity over a large geographic footprint, “ said David Rubin, NV Energy federal energy policy director. “Independent governance is an essential component for the successful implementation and ongoing operations of a multistate market.”

"Arizona Public Service (APS) has actively engaged as an early architect of Markets+ governance, and we're collaborating with our partners to develop inclusive principles that benefit our region and ultimately our customers," said Justin Joiner, APS vice president of resource management. "Each member has unique strengths and diverse needs, and we're sharing Arizona's voice to ensure our customers are represented in the process."

The Markets+ Independent Panel (MIP) is a five-member panel independent from Markets+ participants and Markets+ stakeholders. The panel is the highest level of authority for decisions related to Markets+, with SPP’s board of directors providing independent oversight. Because the MIP will not be established as part of phase-one development, a three-person subcommittee of the SPP board of directors will perform the functions of the MIP during phase-one. The board members chosen to form the three-member IMIP have extensive industry experience: John Cupparo, Elizabeth Moore and Steve Wright. John Cupparo is located in Oregon, Elizabeth Moore is located in New York and Steve Wright is located in Washington.

“The IMIP is an extension of SPP’s established governance strength focusing on empowering stakeholders to design the market that meets their needs,” said Steve Wright, SPP board member and IMIP chair. “The IMIP is committed to supporting phase-one stakeholders to get Markets+ up and running as fast as the stakeholders want.”

The MSC is a group of representatives from each state of the Markets+ footprint designed to advise the MIP, MPEC and working groups on issues like initiative prioritization and policy issues. During phase one, the MSC will include one member each from the state regulatory agency in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Colorado Public Utilities Commission Chair Eric Blank is leading the effort to draft the MSC charter and formation efforts with the Western Interstate Energy Board.

“I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues and other stakeholders in the west to help create value and lower cost through Markets+ and enhanced regional coordination,” said Blank.

The MPEC is a forum for Markets+ market participants, participants and stakeholders to discuss issues related to the administration and advancement of market development in the Western Interconnection, including establishing working groups, proposing amendments to the tariff and administrative rate changes for market participants. All stakeholders are welcome to participate in our public process, but only entities that execute a Markets+ Market Participant Phase One Funding Agreement or Markets+ Market Stakeholder Phase One Participation Agreement are eligible to appoint a representative to the MPEC. The first meeting of the MPEC is April 18-19, in Westminster, Colorado.

SPP staff is drafting working group and task force charters, which include each group’s purpose, scope and representation. Working group charters will be posted for review ahead of the April MPEC meeting, where the MPEC will review and vote on group charters and rosters.

Markets+ stakeholders and SPP staff spent more than nine months developing a collaborative and transparent governance structure for Markets+, including multiple governance schematic surveys and discussions, governance straw proposals and public comment periods.

Meghan Sever , 501-482-2393,