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Southwest Power Pool RTO membership exploration

Information Technology Specialist David Darmody captured this image of a structure near Bismarck, N.D., for WAPA’s 45th Annivers​In collaboration with other major utilities in the West, WAPA's Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) and Rocky Mountain region (RM) are exploring full membership in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) and the Upper Great Plains​ region (UGP) is evaluating expanding its participation in the SPP RTO in the Western Interconnection. UGP's Western Interconnection transmission facilities are already under the SPP tariff, and its Eastern Interconnection facilities are already in the SPP RTO Integrated Marketplace. 

Participating in this exploratory initiative to expand the SPP RTO into the West is consistent with WAPA's commitment to evaluate alternative ways of doing business to retain and increase the value of WAPA's resources in a dynamic energy industry. We are committed to keeping pace with changes in the industry to ensure that we, along with our customers, are well positioned for the continued success of our mission to safely provide reliable, cost-based hydropower and transmission to our customers and the communities we serve.

On April 28, 2023, WAPA published a Federal Register notice (FRN) ​on its recommendation to pursue final negotiations regarding SPP RTO membership. WAPA recommends CRSP and RM pursue final negotiations regarding membership in the SPP RTO, and UGP expand its participation in the Western Interconnection. WAPA is seeking written public comments from its customers, Indian Tribes and stakeholders on the substance of the recommendation. See “Public Comment Period Open" section below for details.​

The FRN does not represent a decision to join or expand participation in the SPP RTO. The purpose of the FRN is to provide an opportunity for written public comments to help inform the decision about whether to proceed to final negotiations. The FRN, background, basis for the recommendation, and explanatory material are posted in the documents section below. 

Written comments received as part of this public process, along with WAPA's responses, will be posted after the close of the comment period on this web page. WAPA will carefully consider all written comments received before the close of the comment period as we evaluate whether SPP RTO membership in the Western Interconnection will provide long-term value amid a rapidly changing electric industry.

WAPA anticipates deciding on whether to pursue final negotiations with SPP in summer 2023. WAPA will provide notice of its decision with a posting on this website and by sending a letter to customers, Indian Tribes, and stakeholders. If WAPA decides to move forward with final negotiations with SPP, and those negotiations are successful, RM and CRSP will then execute SPP membership agreements and UGP will expand its participation in SPP. If an affirmative decision is made, SPP RTO go-live in the Western Interconnection is projected for spring 2026. 


A 45-day comment period opened on April 28, 2023, and will run through June 12, 2023. See the FRN for background information and instructions​ on how to provide comments. See the Recommendation Report referenced in the FRN that describes the background and analysis for WAPA CRSP, RM and UGP. 

An informational webinar with a question and answer session was conducted May 11, 2023:​ 

​The purpose of the informational webinar was to provide a summary of the Recomm​endatio​n Report and respond to clarifying questions. Comments were not addressed during the webinar. Comments must be submitted per the instructions in the FRN.  

A follow up question and answer session will be conducted on May 25, 2023: 

The purpose of the second question and answer session was to provide an opportunity for entities to pose additional clarifying questions from the May 11 webinar. Entities who had clarifying questions had the option to submit them toSPP-Comments@wapa.govby May 23, or to submit them during the webinar. A recording of the webinar is now posted above.


Comments will not be responded to during either webinar. To be considered, all comments must be provided in writing during the comment period which is April 28 to June 12. Refer to the FRN for additional information and instructions. Please note if you submitted a comment prior to April 28 and would like that comment considered, please re-submit in writing.

WAPA will post comments and responses on this website following the close of the comment period after full consideration by WAPA's Administrator and CEO.

WAPA will disclose other communications that occur during the comment period​ regarding the RTO initiative. Additionally, WAPA personnel will continue to participate in industry activities and discussions regarding markets. ​

Thank you for your interest in WAPA's market activities. We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure we are well positioned for the continued success of our mission to safely provide reliable, cost-based hydropower and transmission to our customers and the communities we serve.






  • Chrystal Dean, Vice President of Enterprise Portfolio Management, Office of the Chief Operating Officer

  • Rebecca Johnson, Transmission and Power Markets Advisor, Enterprise Portfolio Management​​​


​WAPA's Administrator and CEO Tracey LeBeau has invited Tribal Leaders to meet and provide comments on the WAPA recommendation for WAPA to pursue final negotiations regarding SPP RTO membership.​ The meeting is scheduled for May 12, 2023 from 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. MDT.  This meeting will initiate a 30-day government-to-government comment period. ​WAPA will carefully consider all comments submitted by Tribes.




  • Kirsten McClure, Tribal Affairs Specialist, Washington Liaison Office

  • Chrystal Dean, Vice President of Enterprise Portfolio Management, Office of the Chief Operating Officer​

Page Last Updated: 5/25/2023 10:58 AM