|The U.S. Air Force Academy, the city of Sidney, Nebraska, and the Wyoming Municipal Power Agency are among the customers that rely on Rocky Mountain to help meet the electrical needs of communities in the West. Customers rely on WAPA to supply power and maintain the transmission system.|
RM is one of four regions within WAPA, a federal power marketing administration. WAPA sells wholesale power and bulk wholesale transmission to local utilities, which then provide the power to more than 40 million Americans. RM employees work around the clock to keep bulk power moving through the interconnected transmission system so that electricity ultimately reaches your home or business.
Rocky Mountain serves preference customers in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming with hydroelectric power. We sell about 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of power. This power is generated at 20 hydroelectric plants that are part of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project and the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program—Western Division (sold as the Loveland Area Projects). RM also delivers a portion of generation from the Colorado River Storage Project.
We reliably deliver federal and non-federal power through about 3,300 miles of transmission lines and 84 substations. The system includes the 200-megawatt Virginia Smith AC-DC converter station near Sidney, Nebraska, that transfers power between the eastern and western power grids. Because reliability is essential to superior customer service, we dedicate more than half of our workforce to system maintenance. High-voltage line mechanics, electricians, heavy equipment operators and meter and relay mechanics keep the transmission system operating efficiently.
In Rocky Mountain, we are committed to serving our customers. For example, we often collaborate with other utilities on facility maintenance and system improvements.
To respond to the changes in the electric utility industry and to better serve our customers, we keep pace with the latest technologies. Our upgraded dispatch center is one example. It features an advanced power control system that monitors the transmission system; two high-resolution video map boards; a computer-based telephone system for more reliable communication and teleconferencing capabilities; and a new video security camera system at the dispatch facility.
As the restructured electric utility market unfolds, we continue to improve service to our customers. We have added products and services, such as power scheduling to manage load requirements and control costs, and transmission rates specifically designed for wind generation.
FACING THE FUTURE
We continually look for ways to more closely partner with customers and the generating agencies to improve reliability and decrease costs. For example, we established a three-party agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation and Western States Power Corporation to help ensure adequate funding for system maintenance, operation and capital. This agreement reduces the need for appropriations from Congress and ensures timely system maintenance.
As we continue to grow, we are open to opportunities to improve transmission system reliability and meet future energy needs. For example, as the security coordinator for the Rocky Mountain, Arizona, New Mexico and southern Nevada subregions of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, we monitor and analyze the area’s transmission system.
We are committed to partnering with our customers, preserving our resources and improving reliability through creativity, leadership and sound business and engineering principles.