On Dec. 19, attorneys for Southwest Power Pool Inc., filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington D.C., an open-access transmission tariff to provide for "one-stop-shopping" for short-term firm and non-firm point-to-point transmission service across seven southwestern states, SPP submitted the tariff as agent for its participating member public utilities and on behalf of all of its members. See, FERC Docket No. ER98-1163.
The tariff provides for rates designed on a distance-based, "megawatt-mile" method, which establishes a link between the reservation, scheduling and compensation for transmission service, and the anticipated impact of such service on the transmission system. The MW-mile method replaces the current "contract path" method and addresses rights to available transfer capability of the interconnected transmission system. The MW-mile method is very similar to the pricing approach developed by the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool in an attempt to create a seamless regional border for additional enhancement to market activity.
Said Nicholas A. Brown, SPP vice president: "Experience gained from this tariff will also inform and facilitate ongoing discussions among SPP members and other stakeholders on the formation of an independent system operator contemplated by the FERC, and thus holds promise of movement toward a more comprehensive regional transmission service structure."
The tariff is proposed to become effective April 1 and will supplant, in part, the current tariffs of participating members. Each member will continue to provide long-term firm and network transmission service under its individual tariffs.--Bruce W. Radford, editor, Public Utilities Fortnightly.