PUC hosts meeting on Mountain West Transmission Group initiative

 

DENVER (March 28, 2017) —Utility regulators and electric transmission stakeholders from several western states gathered in Denver today to learn more about the Mountain West Transmission Group’s (MWTG) plans to explore participation in a regional transmission organization.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) hosted an all-day informational meeting on Tuesday to obtain information about the plan and to discuss with MWTG participants the potential benefits, costs and risks of the options under consideration.

“We appreciate the PUC and the PUC Commissioners hosting this important meeting, which brought together many western utility providers, regulators and stakeholders to discuss the future of the electric industry for western states,” said Joe Neguse, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, who welcomed participants.

More than 80 people attended the informational meeting and dozens more participated by webcast. Utility regulators from Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming were among the participants, which also included representatives from utilities, consumer groups, environmental organizations, and other state and federal agencies.

MWTG is made up of 10 electricity service providers across the Rocky Mountains, including Xcel Energy, Black Hills, Colorado Springs Utilities, Platte River Power Authority, and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. The group serves 6.4 million customers in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

MWTG announced in January its intention to explore participation with the Southwest Power Pool. According to MWTG, utilities participating in a regional transmission organization have benefitted from more efficient commitment and dispatch of generation, improved operating reserve procurement, and more efficient wind and solar resource integration.

Presentations at the meeting included an overview of the function of a regional transmission organization by Suedeen Kelly, a former New Mexico and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioner currently providing legal counsel to the Colorado PUC. There were also presentations from Mountain West Transmission Group representatives and the Southwest Power Pool, as well as a state commissioner roundtable and question and answer sessions. 

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The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) serves the public interest by effectively regulating utilities and facilities so that the people of Colorado receive safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced services consistent with the economic, environmental and social values of our state. Visit www.colorado.gov/dora/puc.

About DORA

The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit www.colorado.gov/dora for more information or call 303-894-7855/toll free 1-800-886-7675.