The Southwest Power Pool coordinator is working to create a regional marketplace for utilities looking to buy additional power, but an Oklahoma regulator expressed some misgivings Tuesday about the plan.
Officials from the regional transmission organization on Tuesday offered an overview of the Integrated Marketplace program at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The program is scheduled to go live by next May for market participants.
Richard Dillon, Southwest Power Pool's director of market design, estimated the program could save regional utilities up to $100 million a year, as SPP takes over responsibility for acquiring and deploying electric reserves.
He said utilities now look to the lowest cost source of power generation in their portfolios when demand rises, but the new system would connect them to cheaper sources of electricity.
“That's kind of like choosing the cheapest car out of your garage,” Dillon said of the current system. “We're moving to a carpool system.”
Companies such as Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co., Public Service Co. of Oklahoma and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative would let Southwest Power Pool take the lead in tracking down additional power at the best price under the new program.