By Jen Neville

Since the OAM implementation project charter was signed in June, WAPA has made progress on the 11 decisions meant to be implemented before October 2019. Specifically, the team has been reviewing position descriptions and preparing paperwork to standardize operations and power marketing structure consistently across WAPA.

“We are working to optimize our internal efforts, while remaining agile, relative to market scenarios,” said Organizational Approach to Markets Project Manager Amy Cutler.

Early achievements

Several decisions have already been implemented. WAPA has:

  • Verified a Reliability desk in Upper Great Plains to combine generation and scheduling functions.
  • Reduced the oversight need of Rocky Mountain’s Transmission Scheduling system.
  • Reviewed the position description for real-time engineers.

In addition, the Settlements staff in Desert Southwest and Sierra Nevada partnered with Information Technology to identify a future opportunity to streamline California Independent System Operator settlements management when the system is upgraded. For now, the current process is the most cost-effective way of handling CAISO settlements.

Progress in the making

Working toward a fiscal year 2019 start, a couple of reorganization and realignment plans are in the works. These include:

  • Standardizing reporting for the Energy Management and Marketing Office under the regional vice president of Power Marketing. This reorganization affects both DSW and the Colorado River Storage Project Management Center.
  • Aligning Settlements under the vice president of Power Marketing. This realignment affects CRSP MC, DSW and RM.

On the horizon

In FY 2019, the OAM implementation project team will work with councils and subteams to ensure they are tracking and communicating market-related activities with each other.

The success of WAPA’s regional marketing plans requires effective collaboration and communication among these groups. In the future, organized market environments will require even greater coordination.

The big picture

OAM is about timing and preparedness. It is similar to a hiker ensuring she is in good shape, has all the necessary gear and is mentally prepared for the upcoming journey before heading out for a long hike.

In the same vein, organized markets are developing on the edges of the West, and WAPA needs to be in good shape to work with markets.

“If not implemented now,” emphasized Cutler, “the OAM decisions could compound the changes needed when markets develop, putting undue strain on our employees and resources.”

OAM helps ensure WAPA is well positioned to address any market initiatives on the horizon, as well as to help its customers do the same. 

Note: Neville is a public affairs specialist.

Last modified on October 3rd, 2023