SPP's COVID-19 Response - May 7, 2020
As we continue to adjust to our new reality, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together over the past few weeks. SPP has not only responded effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic but also continued to provide our critical services without interruption.
Operationally, our system remains reliable and our generating capacity is sufficient to meet demand. We’re still tracking small but steady reductions in load, which is now down approximately 8-10% across our system compared to similar days in recent years with temperatures within 3 degrees (+/-) of 2020 weather. Still, our diverse generation mix, robust market and reliable system worked together to set wind and renewable penetration records April 27. Early that morning, we served 78.2% of our load with renewables and 73.2% with wind alone. We continue to plan for the future, work closely with you and adjust to changing needs in real time.
Our board and committee meetings have been as lively, engaging and productive as ever. Last week, the board approved two recommendations from the Holistic Integrated Tariff Team’s 2019 report, and SPP is progressing toward the eventual implementation all 21 of the HITT’s recommendations. Looking ahead, and based on feedback from many of our member companies regarding their own pandemic response plans, we’ve decided to extend our suspension of all business travel and face-to-face meetings until Aug. 1 at the earliest. We look forward to the day we can conduct our meetings in person again, but we won’t until we’re certain we can do so safely, and we’ve now proven we can facilitate our stakeholder process virtually when necessary.
The health and safety of our employees and their families remains a top priority for SPP and is key to our reliable delivery of services. I am glad to report that we still have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among our staff. Our facilities and incident command structure teams have worked hard to ensure we will have personal protective equipment available and a supply line to restock when we eventually begin a phased return of staff to campus. We will continue to do the right thing, for the right reason, in the right way, every time.
SPP also remains committed to serving our local community. Our statewide foodbank has been overwhelmed with need as school kitchens closed and families experienced layoffs. On May 5, we encouraged staff to donate to the foodbank, and in the first day of the campaign alone, we raised enough money to provide more than 14,000 meals to food-insecure Arkansans. This is just one of several corporate efforts underway to support the community we call home.
Take care and be well,
SPP President & CEO