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WAPA exploring multiple options for reliability coordinator

UPDATED: Feb. 28, 2018​

CONTACT: Lisa Meiman,, 720-962-7411

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – On Feb. 26, Western Area Power Administration submitted Notices of Withdrawal for its three balancing authorities to depart Peak Reliability Coordinator, effective Sept. 2, 2019. 

WAPA’s Upper Great Plains West and Western Area Colorado Missouri BAs submitted letters of intent to receive RC services from Southwest Power Pool beginning in fall 2019. WAPA’s Western Area Lower Colorado BA is considering both SPP and the California Independent System Operator as potential providers for RC services.

On Feb. 28, ​WAPA's Western Area Sierra Nevada sub-BA submitted a Notice of Withdrawal to Peak RC, effective Dec. 31, 2019. WASN, a sub-BA within the Balancing Authority of Northern California, is evaluating its options for RC services.

“Our balancing authorities cover an expansive area in the West. Each has unique circumstances and requirements that we will respect when seeking the best possible RC for our operations and our customers,” said WAPA Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel. “As we explore the best path forward for each of our BAs, the reliability of the grid will remain our top priority.” 

The non-binding letters of intent enable WAPA’s BAs to evaluate more specifically which RC option is best for its customers based on each BA’s particular situation. 

Under the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s reliability standards, every BA and Transmission Operator must have a reliability coordinator. The reliability coordinator oversees transmission operations and potential areas of congestion or instability across multiple BAs or Transmission Operators within a geographic region. 

There are currently two reliability coordinators in the Western Interconnection: Peak RC and Alberta Electric System Operator. With CAISO and SPP now proposing to provide these services as well, WAPA needs to consider what is best for reliability as well as the potential cost implications to its customers. 

These actions do not prescribe a future outcome for WAPA and its eventual RC providers. WAPA will evaluate SPP and CAISO RC services to determine the best path forward for ensuring reliability and delivering value to its customers. 

“As new opportunities arise in this dynamic energy frontier, it is our duty to examine each thoroughly for its impact to our customers and our costs,” said Gabriel. “WAPA will continue to pursue the most beneficial, responsible and reliable courses of action for our customers and the millions of citizens they serve in the West.”


About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable power from 56 federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at   

Page Last Updated: 2/28/2018 3:38 PM