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The Upper Great Plains Region of the Western Area Power Administration has decided to pursue formal negotiations for membership with the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), a regional transmission organization.

The Upper Great Plains Region markets Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin - Eastern Division power and energy to preference customers in Montana east of the Continental Divide, North Dakota, South Dakota, western Minnesota and Iowa, and eastern Nebraska. Western operates the integrated transmission system, which is owned by Western, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Heartland Consumers Power District.

"Based on the results of the Alternate Operations Study, the unique marketing and transmission footprint of Western's Upper Great Plains Region, as well as the responses received during the comment period, I am authorizing staff to move forward with the recommendation to pursue formal negotiations with SPP to make official membership possible," comments Western Administrator Mark Gabriel.

Western says the outcome of negotiations will be addressed in a Western/SPP membership agreement, as well as likely changes to the SPP tariff and/or bylaws. Those changes will be worked through the normal SPP committee processes and board approval and ultimately will be filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by SPP.

The recommendation to pursue membership in SPP was published in the Federal Register Nov. 1, 2013, Western notes.

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