Regulatory Organizations

Indirectly, WFEC, as a member of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), falls under the governance of regulatory and reliability organizations. As a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO), SPP is mandated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). And, SPP is a regional entity of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
Below are summaries of each organization:

Southwest Power Pool

SPP became the first RTO to design, build, and bring a Day 2 market on time when the Integrated Marketplace became financially binding at midnight March 1, 2014. The Integrated Marketplace and its Day-Ahead Market, Real-Time Balancing Market, and Congestion Hedging Markets is projected to yield $131 million in additional net savings to SPP's region during its first year of operation (on top of $170 million in net savings from the previous market).

As an RTO, SPP is mandated by FERC to ensure reliable supplies of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and competitive wholesale prices of electricity. As a NERC Entity, SPP oversees compliance enforcement and reliability standards development. SPP has members in nine states.

SPP Fast Facts

SPP Control room

North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)

NERC is a not-for-profit international regulatory authority whose mission is to assure the reliability of the bulk power system in North America. NERC develops and enforces Reliability Standards; annually assesses seasonal and long‐term reliability; monitors the bulk power system through system awareness; and educates, trains, and certifies industry personnel. NERC’s area of responsibility spans the continental United States, Canada, and the northern portion of Baja California, Mexico. NERC is the electric reliability organization for North America, subject to oversight by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and governmental authorities in Canada. NERC’s jurisdiction includes users, owners, and operators of the bulk power system, which serves more than 334 million people.

FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave FERC additional responsibilities. As part of that responsibility, FERC:

  • Regulates the transmission and wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce;
  • Reviews certain mergers and acquisitions and corporate transactions by electricity companies;
  • Regulates the transmission and sale of natural gas for resale in interstate commerce;
  • Regulates the transportation of oil by pipeline in interstate commerce;
  • Approves the siting and abandonment of interstate natural gas pipelines and storage facilities;
  • Reviews the siting application for electric transmission projects under limited circumstances;
  • Ensures the safe operation and reliability of proposed and operating LNG terminals;
  • Licenses and inspects private, municipal, and state hydroelectric projects;
  • Protects the reliability of the high voltage interstate transmission system through mandatory reliability standards;
  • Monitors and investigates energy markets;
  • Enforces FERC regulatory requirements through imposition of civil penalties and other means;
  • Oversees environmental matters related to natural gas and hydroelectricity projects and other matters; and
  • Administers accounting and financial reporting regulations and conduct of regulated companies.