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WAPA consolidates operations, sees $11M cost-savings

​Operations platform will support service across 10 states

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2016
CONTACT: Jen Neville,, 720.962.7411

LAKEWOOD, Colorado –Western Area Power Administration consolidated transmission operations in its Desert Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions and the Colorado River Storage Project Management Center resulting in $11 million in cost-savings for customers. The project was completed Dec. 13. Now WAPA has the ability for the control centers to back up each other, eliminating the need for two alternate control ​centers. 

WAPA Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel said, “WAPA’s Operations Consolidation exemplifies our commitment to evolving WAPA's transmission services in response to the demands of a changing industry and technology environment through operational excellence and the application of cost containment principles. The Operations Consolidation Project cost-savings is reflected in the rates our customers pay.”

On Dec. 13, WAPA conducted a final test to make sure the operations centers in Loveland and Phoenix would quickly assume control of each other’s transmission system in the event of a failure or emergency. The ability for staff at both centers to operate the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system creates reinforcement for its operations. 

“Over the last two months we have been testing the system to ensure we had a smooth transition,” said IT VP of SCADA systems Jon Aust, who co-led the SCADA consolidation effort. “Now our Operation staff can back each other up at a moment’s notice. This enhances our reliability and strengthens our customer service.” WAPA’s Loveland SCADA Manager Randy Curtis co-led with Aust as the acting project manager.

By operating under a consolidated system and common tools and procedures, the project is also reducing the future costs of permitting and system upgrades by $1.4 million, while continuing to consistently meet​ compliance requirements across the whole system.

WAPA Senior VP and Chief Information Officer Dawn Roth Lindell said, “A project of this scope requires great cooperation and coordination among a large staff. The team has worked well and with agility in completing this major improvement to WAPA’s ability to effectively and efficiently manage its transmission system.”

WAPA has tracked this initiative as part of its Continuous Project Improvement program, which has implemented improvements that add up to more than $20 million in future cost savings.

History of Operations Consolidation 
In 2008, WAPA decided to consolidate the operations of its CRSP MC, DSW and RM transmission systems to optimize its ability to provide back-up support for emergency operations. Until then, the transmission systems had operated independently with different protocols and tools. The consolidation of the three systems involved a number of significant steps, including:
  • Combining transmission staff under the Rocky Mountain Regional Manager.
  • Reconfiguring the CRSP system under the Western Area Lower Colorado Balancing Authority.
  • Consolidation of scheduling tools and processes for the DSW and RM control centers.
  • Implementation of common communication tools that relay dispatch orders from control centers to all substations in the system.
  • Implement common SCADA hardware and software throughout the system.
  • Join the systems into a single operational unit.

About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable power from 57​ hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 15 western and central states. It is part of the U.S. Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at

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