SPP Touts Its Value, and Refines Mission Statement

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Southwest Power Pool leaders revamped its mission statement and heard an update on the savings the regional grid operator offers to members in meetings last week in Little Rock.

The regional transmission organization worked with member utilities over a year’s time to calculate the benefits of being in the organization. SPP’s Regional State Committee and board of directors reviewed conclusions from the organization’s 2021 Member Value Statement, which found that SPP offered $2.14 billion in annual savings to its members, which span the electrical grid through 17 middle-American states.

SPP’s services include reliability coordination, transmission planning, and administration of wholesale power markets. The value statement found a benefit-to-cost ratio of 14-to-1 for every dollar spent on membership.

Chief Operating Officer Lanny Nickell also pointed to a series of indicators favoring SPP’s overall performance, with particular customer satisfaction in three broad areas: stakeholder engagement and support for members’ initiatives; SPP’s balance of economics, reliability and affordability; and the organization’s sensitivity to industry trends and forward-looking strategies. 

The review found one area calling for improvement: operational performance, which suffered when the transmission organization had to resort to controlled outages during February’s winter storm and power generation crisis.

A comprehensive review of SPP’s response to that power emergency is proceeding, and staff members will present conclusions and recommendations to the board in July, according to an SPP news release.

SPP’s revised mission statement is this: “Working together to responsibly and economically keep the lights on, today and in the future.” The board approved the mission statement, as well as vision and value proposition statements, as part of a “larger strategic planning effort still underway,” the news release said. The new statement acknowledges the organization’s “active role in working alongside stakeholders to ensure electricity is delivered with a balance of fiscal, social, environmental and economic considerations in mind.”

The new vision statement, “Leading our industry to a brighter future while delivering the best energy value,” reflects SPP’s aspiration to find innovative ways to achieve accessible, reliable, sustainable, flexible and affordable power, the nonprofit said. SPP’s 2020 Annual Report is also now online.