Southwest Power Pool board approves transmission plan

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) has recently completed its annual 10-year regional transmission planning process called the Integrated Transmission Plan (ITP). Its computer models were built to include future load growth and generation mix, then contingency analyses were completed to identify reliability issues and economic inefficiencies. 

Basin Electric Vice President of Transmission Pius Fischer said SPP publishes this list of issues or “needs” that need to be mitigated. Stakeholders like Basin Electric provide potential project solutions to mitigate the needs through infrastructure buildout.

“SPP takes the list of solutions, optimizes it, and selects a portfolio of projects that solves the most needs and provide the best benefits for the costs,” Fischer said. “This year, the ITP has identified a significant amount of needs in the Bakken region, primarily due to load growth. Initial estimates for the Bakken area projects indicate about $470 million of transmission upgrades over the next several years that have been identified in the portfolio.”

The SPP board approved the project portfolio on Jan. 25. Contingent upon Basin Electric’s board approval of the projects assigned to the cooperative, the project teams will provide updated cost estimates and an affirmation of the scope of work before SPP issues final notices to construct.

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