SPP: Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, WAPA to join WEIS market

SPP said that its Western Energy Imbalance Service market is set to launch in February 2021, and centrally dispatch energy from participants throughout the region every five minutes

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) on Sept. 9 said that Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) have announced their decision to join SPP’s Western Energy Imbalance Service (WEIS) market, which is set to launch in February 2021, and centrally dispatch energy from those participants throughout the region every five minutes.

SPP said that WAPA’s agreement includes the firm electric service loads and resources of Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program – Eastern Division, Loveland Area Projects, and Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects, in the Upper Great Plains Western Area Balancing Authority (WAUW) and Western Area Colorado Missouri Balancing Authority (WACM) footprints.

SPP said that as the market’s administrator, it will maintain the reliability of the region’s transmission system and meet demand with the most cost-effective generation available, reducing wholesale electricity costs for participants. SPP said that like its previous markets, the WEIS will provide price transparency of wholesale energy, allow parties to trade bilaterally, and hedge against costly transmission congestion.

SPP noted that it also administers the Western Interconnection Unscheduled Flow Mitigation Plan; is on track to launch reliability coordination services for various western utilities in December; and is in the early stages of developing planning coordination services, by which it would help utilities study and plan upgrades to the region’s transmission system.

SPP said that it is accepting commitments from additional customers to be included in the market’s initial go-live through Oct. 25.

According to a document on SPP’s website titled, “A proposal for the Southwest Power Pool Western Energy Imbalance Service Market (WEIS),” the WEIS’ central feature is an intra-hour, centralized dispatch of energy from participating resources.

Discussing generating units and plants, the document noted that registered resource must meet the minimum requirements and functions defined in the WEIS market rules. Individual market participants will register resources on a nodal basis at settlement locations, the document said, adding that resources at the same physical and electrically equivalent injection point to the transmission system may register individually as generating units or collectively as a plant, affording market participants the flexibility to decide which option works best for them for each resource.

Of dispatchable variable energy resources (DVERs), for instance, the document noted that a variable-energy resource able to be incrementally dispatched down by the market may register as a DVER, which must have a zero-megawatt minimum economic-operating limit. For DVERs with a maximum economic-operating limit less than 200 MW, the maximum ramp rate cannot exceed 8 MW/min, the document noted, adding that for DVERs with a maximum economic-operating limit greater than or equal to 200 MW, the MW ramp rate per minute cannot exceed 4% of the maximum economic-operating limit. For instance, the document said, a DVER with maximum economic-operating limit of 300 MW cannot exceed 12 MW/min.

Among other things, the document noted that in its role as the market operator, SPP will perform analysis to ensure each balancing authority and market participant in each balancing authority’s boundaries have enough generation in their operating plan to satisfy the load and obligations for that market participant and balancing authority. Supply adequacy analysis will occur day-ahead prior to each operating day and hour-ahead within each operating day, the document said.

SPP will operate the real-time balancing market (RTBM) on a continuous five-minute basis, the document said, noting that SPP will clear the RTBM by determining the security constrained economic dispatch (SCED) that is the lowest-cost means of balancing generation and load based on actual conditions, forecast conditions, and submitted offers.

SPP will administer the WEIS as a contract service separate and distinct from its role as an RTO, the document said, noting that to participate in the WEIS, entities must execute a pro-forma Western Joint Dispatch Agreement, which establishes a legal relationship between SPP and customers taking WEIS market administration services.

In its statement, SPP said that utilities do not have to be an SPP member to participate.