Having lost Entergy to MISO, the Southwest Power Pool seeks its pound of flesh.
Bruce W. Radford is publisher of Public Utilities Fortnightly. Contact him at email@example.com.
Recently we witnessed history being made, but we don't know exactly when it happened.
It was January, certainly. Maybe the 10th, or maybe a day earlier.
That's when the Southwest Power Pool, in one of the most brazen moves yet seen in the power industry, dropped a single invoice in the mail: an invoice accompanied by a letter from its Chief Operating Officer Carl Monroe that, while perfectly cordial in tone ("Dear Richard," it begins), was sent nevertheless without a date affixed to it.
Was it the excitement of the moment? Very likely so, as this invoice surely marks a turning point for the power industry.
For it purports to bill MISO, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, for some $2.4 million (including $1 million in penalties) that SPP claims are due and owing for the last two weeks of 2013, as compensation for uninvited, rogue power flows that it says MISO has loosed upon the SPP regional grid, as a consequence of Entergy's integration into the MISO footprint on December 19. Specifically, the six Entergy operating utilities - which SPP itself had once courted as potential members, before it was spurned - joined MISO and thereby formed what is now the nation's largest regional transmission organization, stretching from Manitoba all the way south to the Gulf of Mexico.