The Mountain West Transmission Group (Mountain West)** was an informal collaboration of electricity service providers formed in early 2013 to evaluate an array of options ranging from a common transmission tariff to regional transmission organization memberships.
Oct. 30, 2018: WAPA has decided to defer further Mountain West activity while continuing to evaluate opportunities to optimize the use of generation and transmission resources. We appreciate the strong collaborative partnerships with our customers and within Mountain West and remain committed to working with neighboring entities across our 15-state footprint to develop strategies to adapt to the evolving electric industry.
Oct. 3, 2018: Black Hills Energy provided formal notice to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission that the company would not pursue membership in Southwest Power Pool at this time.
April 23, 2018: WAPA is assessing next steps following Public Service Company of Colorado’s decision to withdraw from the initiative.
Sept. 22, 2017: The Mountain West participants completed initial discussions with the Southwest Power Pool’s management team, concerning membership in the SPP RTO. Through these discussions, Mountain West has determined that membership in SPP would provide opportunities to reduce customer costs, and maximize use of resources and the grid. Read more in the news release.
Public and regulatory process
Each Mountain West participant is pursuing regulatory or governing body approval, as applicable. Public processess in progress include:
- SPP’s public stakeholder process
- WAPA’s stakeholder outreach
- See the presentations from forums held Nov. 9 and 14
- Review the recommendation report, Nov. 3
- Read responses to customer and stakeholder comments, Jan. 10
Mountain West participants
Mountain West includes two investor-owned utilities; two municipal electricity providers; two generation and transmission cooperatives; and two federal power marketing administration projects. The Mountain West participants are a subset of the WestConnect planning region and are members of the Colorado Coordinated Planning Group (CCPG).
- Basin Electric Power Cooperative (BEPC)
- Black Hills Energy:
- Black Hills Power (BHP)
- Black Hills Colorado Electric Utility Company (BHCE)
- Cheyenne Light Fuel & Power Company (CLFP)
- Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU)
- Platte River Power Authority (PRPA)
- Tri‐State Generation and Transmission Association (Tri‐State)
- Western Area Power Administration (WAPA)
- Loveland Area Projects (LAP)
- Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP)
The Mountain West participants have a non-binding letter of understanding (January 2017). Read the answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Mountain West (last updated: September 2017).
Production Savings reports
As one component of the evaluation of the benefits and costs of regional market participation, the Mountain West entities commissioned studies of the potential production cost savings.
- Production cost savings for regional market: The report is titled “Production Cost Savings Offered by Regional Transmission and a Regional Market in the Mountain West Transmission Group Footprint.”
- Production cost savings for DC ties: Mountain West commissioned a study of the potential production cost savings that may be realized by using the four direct current (DC) interties owned by Mountain West participants to connect the Mountain West footprint to the Southwest Power Pool Integrated Market. The interties have a combined transfer capacity of 720 megawatts and production cost savings are estimated to range from $11.7 million to $28.8 million.
- *WAPA specific* – CRSP/LAP production cost savings for regional market: WAPA’s Rocky Mountain region and Colorado River Storage Project Management Center conducted financial analyses for its potential CRSP and LAP participation in a regional market. The report titled “Mountain West Joint Tariff and Regional Transmission Organization Market Study” (pdf) builds upon the Brattle study and was prepared by Argonne National Laboratory at WAPA’s direction to estimate the financial implications of LAP and CRSP participating in an RTO along with other Mountain West participants.
Mountain West timeline
- October 2018: WAPA defers further Mountain West activity
- October 2018: Black Hills Energy withdraws from Mountain West
- April 2018: Public Service of Colorado withdraws from Mountain West
- Late 2017 to 2018: Stakeholder processes
- September 2017: Mountain West decides to pursue membership in Southwest Power Pool
- Mid- to Late-2017: Discussions with RTO; Mountain West entities develop consensus about whether or not to negotiate full RTO membership
- January 2017: Mountain West consensus on specific RTO for additional discussions
*WAPA SPECIFIC* – Customer communication and presentations
- WAPA defers further Mountain West activity, Oct. 30, 2018
- LAP and SLCA/IP customer letter, Jan. 10, 2018
- WAPA seeks comments on SPP membership for two projects, Oct. 12, 2017
- Mountain West announces next step to potential SPP membership, Sept. 22, 2017
- LAP and SLCA/IP customer letter, June 26, 2017
- Mountain West electricity providers explore RTO options, Jan. 6, 2017
- LAP and SLCA/IP customer letter, Jan. 5, 2017
- Mountain West Transmission Group update, Contracts and Energy Services Manager Parker Wicks, Nov. 29, 2016
- WEIL: A Discussion on Markets, Administrator and CEO Mark Gabriel, Sept. 29, 2016
- Mountain West Transmission Group update, Power Marketing Advisor Rodney Bailey, Sept. 29, 2016
- Western Regional Partnership: Discussion on Markets, Aug. 17, 2016
- Discussion on Markets presentation to American Public Power Association, July 21, 2016
- Discussion on Markets presentation to National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, July 20, 2016
- Customer Symposium: Discussion on Markets, June 30, 2016
**NOTE: This is a WAPA webpage to share publicly available information regarding WAPA’s involvement with the Mountain West Transmission Group. It is not a Mountain West website, and does not represent the views or actions of the other Mountain West participants individually or as a group.
Last modified on October 20th, 2023