SPP seeks FERC permission on tariff change for transactions with Canadian entity

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) recently filed a request with FERC to change its open access transmission tariff to identify the border between the U.S. and Canada as the point of sale for market transactions that SPP may administer with a Canadian transmission service provider.

SPP said it made the Jan. 8 filing at the request of an unnamed Canadian entity looking to participate in the SPP Integrated Marketplace following the integration of Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric), which has an interconnection with Canadian transmission facilities, as a transmission owner in SPP.

When asked to identify the Canadian entity, an SPP spokesperson on Jan. 19 did not identify the entity, telling TransmissionHub that for confidential reasons, SPP does not disclose information on discussions with potential market participants.

Basin Electric, with a service territory among its members that includes a large stretch along the Canadian border in North Dakota and Montana, joined SPP as part of the Integrated System (IS) on Oct. 1, 2015. Basin Electric, along with fellow IS members Western Area Power Administration’s Upper Great Plains Region and Heartland Consumers Power District, became part of SPP after several years of examining whether to join SPP, the Midcontinent ISO or continue to operate the IS on a stand-alone basis.

SPP told FERC that with Basin Electric as a member, SPP now has an interconnection with a Canadian transmission service provider, which “opens the door for Canadian utilities to participate in the Integrated Marketplace as Market Participants.”

Furthermore, according to SPP, the unnamed Canadian entity told SPP that tariff language that recognizes the U.S./Canada border as the point-of-sale for transactions involving the entity “needed to be included in the tariff before such Canadian entity could register its resources and make them available to SPP under the market rules.”

SPP sought to include that language in its tariff, indicating that Canadian entities conducting business in the Integrated Marketplace will be subject to the same rules as other market participants.

The Integrated Marketplace in SPP, which began March 1, 2014, is a day-ahead market with transmission congestion rights, a price-based operating reserves market, a real-time balancing market, virtual trading and a reliability unit commitment process, according to SPP. In the most recent “State of the Market” report for SPP, prepared by the SPP Market Monitoring Unit (MMU), the MMU noted that the primary benefit of converting to a day-ahead market through the Integrated Marketplace is to improve the efficiency of daily resource commitments.

In the tariff filing with FERC (Docket No. ER16-704), SPP said that three types of schedules would be subject to transactions between SPP and a Canadian entity: “export interchange” to serve load in Canada; “import interchange” for importing energy into the Integrated Marketplace; and “through interchange” for exports and imports to serve load on both sides of the U.S./Canada border.

The tariff change would not affect the current process for SPP’s administration of the Integrated Marketplace, SPP said.

The legal recognition of the border as the point of sale “will allow Canadian entities to participate in the Integrated Marketplace and satisfy their own provincial regulatory requirements,” SPP told FERC.

“Likewise, SPP will benefit from the stipulation that the border is the recognized demarcation point where energy is handed off from both directions,” SPP added.

SPP sought an effective date of March 6 for the tariff change.