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The Southwest Power Pool's (SPP) board of directors has approved a near-term transmission-expansion plan that will result in the construction of $751 million in new transmission projects.

According to SPP, the projects are necessary to maintain reliable supplies of electricity across its eight-state regional transmission organization region. These projects are expected to be constructed over the next six years, with construction taking place in all eight states.

The approved suite of projects are a result of SPP's Integrated Transmission Planning (ITP) process, which is an iterative, three-year cycle that includes 20-year, 10-year and near-term assessments and targets transmission-expansion solutions that meet reliability, policy and economic needs within the region.

“This is the third year for us to use the ITP process, and it reflects well on the collaborative, member-driven focus of SPP,” says SPP President and CEO Nick Brown. “Our transparent approach includes state regulators who serve on the SPP Regional State Committee (RSC). The RSC has substantive authority to direct policy changes on behalf of ratepayers and influence important regulatory issues such as how costs of new transmission are allocated in the SPP region.”

SPP says it expects the project portfolio from the near-term plan to mitigate more than 220 reliability issues identified in the assessment.

“Maintaining a reliable transmission grid is our first priority,” comments Lanny Nickell, SPP vice president of engineering. “This portfolio of projects responsibly addresses expected areas of reliability concerns to ensure we help our members keep power moving to the cities and towns across our footprint.”




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