Nebraska utility Omaha Public Power District to continue as transmission-owning member of Southwest Power Pool; changes made to SPP's method of allocating costs of transmission projects prompted 16 months of discussions

OMAHA, Nebraska , August 17, 2011 (press release) – After discussions lasting sixteen months, Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) and Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) today announced that OPPD would continue its status as a transmission-owning member of SPP. The decision keeps OPPD in the same status

Because of changes made to SPP’s method of allocating the costs of transmission

OPPD worked with SPP over the summer to consider upcoming transmission projects in SPP’s expansion plans, SPP’s three-year review of its Highway/Byway cost allocation methodology, and SPP’s Integrated Marketplace program.

“We believe that being a transmission owning member of SPP will provide our customer owners with many benefits,” said OPPD President and CEO W. Gary Gates. “Having a stronger transmission system will increase reliability and will provide a broader access to energy markets.”

Mr. Gates added that active participation in the SPP Integrated Marketplace will increase OPPD’s flexibility in being able to provide reliable, cost-effective power to its customer-owners.

According to SPP President and CEO Nick Brown, “We are pleased that OPPD continues to see the value of SPP membership and the SPP stakeholder process, and we will certainly do our part to live up to OPPD’s expectations. Our regional electric grid will benefit from OPPD’s continued participation in our wholesale energy and transmission service markets, transmission planning processes, and energy reserve sharing group.”

As part of its commitment, OPPD intends to participate in SPP’s regional allocation review task force and work for approval of new transmission projects that benefit OPPD and Nebraska.

Omaha Public Power District is a customer-owned utility serving over 346,000 customers in all or parts of 13 counties in east and southeast Nebraska.

Southwest Power Pool, Inc. is a group of 64 members in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas that serve more than 15 million customers. Membership is comprised of investor-owned utilities, municipal systems, generation and transmission cooperatives, state authorities, wholesale generators, power marketers, and independent transmission companies. SPP's footprint includes 48,930 miles of transmission lines and 370,000 square miles of service territory. SPP was a founding member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation in 1968, and was designated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) in 2004 and a Regional Entity (RE) in 2007. As an RTO, SPP ensures reliable power supplies, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale electricity prices. The SPP RE oversees compliance enforcement and reliability standards development. Read more fast facts or watch a video about SPP.

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