Basin Electric files complaint to request reimbursement after energy emergency

Basin Electric filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in July. The complaint, which was filed along with Basin Electric Class C member North Iowa Municipal Electric Cooperative Association (NIMECA) is seeking a reimbursement of $77 million from Southwest Power Pool (SPP) following the energy emergency that occurred across the midsection of the United States in February.

According to Valerie Weigel, Basin Electric director of asset management and commodity strategy, SPP went into conservative operations during the February event, which gave it the ability to call on generation facilities prior to the day-ahead market. SPP asked Basin Electric and NIMECA to commit their generation facilities, even the higher-cost ones that rarely run. The cooperatives did so, then SPP decommitted some of the units that ended up being temporarily offline during the event.

“According to our SPP tariff, the only reason SPP can decommit units after they request them during an event like this is if there is so much generation online that it threatens to damage the security of the grid or damage the grid itself, and that was not the case,” Weigel said. “And given the situation, SPP actually needed more generation, not less.”

She said the loss of the day-ahead market awards resulted in $77 million in lost revenue for Basin Electric and NIMECA.

Basin Electric and NIMECA have asked FERC for a response to the complaint by the end of September.

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