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Control Area Consolidation Background Paper
In 1995, Western's Transformation process called for the elimination of its Montrose (Colorado) Operations Center and the consolidation of its power system control area and associated functions into its newly designated Desert Southwest Operations Center, administered by Western's Desert Southwest Region (DSW) in Phoenix, AZ, and its Rocky Mountain Operations Center, administered by Western's Rocky Mountain Region (RMR) in Loveland, CO. It was believed that such a consolidation would yield significant benefits, including annual cost savings to Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) customers, enhanced coordination with emerging regional transmission groups, increased operational flexibility, and capitalized cost savings due to the elimination of the Montrose Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system.
Western's Control Area Consolidation (CAC) project required an extensive and complex rework of existing and new SCADA and scheduling systems as well as substantial modifications to communications systems. Substantial changes in scheduling, billing, and accounting practices with associated training for affected personnel as well as other changes in policy and procedures will be required. This project is a substantial technical and logistical undertaking requiring high levels of collaboration among Western offices in Montrose, CO; Phoenix, AZ; Loveland, CO; Salt Lake City, UT; and Golden, CO. Contributing to the complexity of project implementation were the use of three different power system control computers in each of the existing control centers; the new Merchant Scheduling function located in Montrose; on-going installations of new SCADA systems; emerging re-structuring issues, such as OASIS; significant customer concern about changes in operational procedures; and the need to maintain interconnected power system reliability and meet customer contract commitments.
Final reconfiguration of the control area boundaries occurred April 1, 1998. Under the consolidated arrangement, RMR operates the CRSP transmission system north of Shiprock, AZ, in addition to their existing responsibilities for real-time operation of the Loveland Area Projects' generating resources and transmission system. DSW operates CRSP transmission south of Colorado and all CRSP generation, in addition to their existing responsibilities for Parker-Davis and Hoover generation. For a more detailing description of responsibilities associated with the consolidation, see Post-April 1, 1998 Control Area Consolidation Responsibilities.