Southwestern Power Administration

October 16, 2017
Southwestern to Join the Midwest Reliability Organization

MRO was one of eight REs created in 2007.

Southwestern Power Administration (Southwestern) announces its intention to join the Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) Regional Entity (RE) following the dissolution of the Southwest Power Pool Regional Entity (SPP RE), which, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), is scheduled for no later than December 31, 2018.

In July 2017, Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) and NERC mutually agreed to dissolve the SPP RE, citing SPP’s decision to transition out of its RE duties and focus on its core functions as a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO).

Southwestern and other registered entities within the SPP RE footprint have until October 31, 2017 to submit a petition to NERC indicating which RE they propose to transfer to. The petition will include reasons for the RE chosen and a description of any impacts of the proposed transfer on other bulk power system owners, operators, and users.

NERC will determine whether the transfer is appropriate based on various criteria, including geographic location, electrical boundaries, and resources.

After thorough review of its options and discussions with its customers and interconnected entities, Southwestern believes MRO will be the best choice for serving Southwestern’s customers with continued reliability and effectiveness.

“The MRO has a robust, mature program,” explains Tracey Stewart, manager of Southwestern’s Division of Reliability Compliance. “There is an excellent outreach program with valuable guidelines, best practices, workshops, and seminars readily available to MRO members.”

MRO was one of eight REs created in 2007 when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved agreements by which NERC could delegate its authority to REs to monitor and enforce compliance with mandatory NERC Reliability Standards.

In addition to enforcing NERC Reliability Standards, MRO conducts assessments of the electrical grid’s ability to meet electricity demand in its region and analyzes regional system events. The MRO region currently includes more than 130 organizations involved in the production and delivery of electricity to more than 20 million people.

“Members of the SPP RTO are also members of the MRO RE,” says Stewart. “We feel confident that MRO’s proven track record with so many SPP members will be beneficial to Southwestern and its customers.”

All RE changes must be approved by NERC’s independent Board of Trustees, then filed for approval with FERC, where it will be subject to FERC’s public notification, comments, and appeals processes.

October 16, 2017 - Southwestern to Join the Midwest Reliability Organization (PDF version)