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DOE/Western's objectives and targets

PMA Memo Objectives

Corresponding Western FY 2012 Strategic Targets

Western’s Activities


Upgrading transmission infrastructure


6.1 Investigate, evaluate and report on potential new Western-wide transmission products and services.



14.2 Continue involvement in regional transmission planning to be aware of and pursue most critical upgrades or new projects that are consistent with Western’s 10-year plans and funding availability.



Modern communications and control technologies


3.3 Conduct an analysis of Western’s power system operations organization, work functions and associated costs. Explore opportunities for achieving greater efficiency.

3.3 Western completed an operations study of its operations and transmission services to ensure we operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. An independent contractor conducted site visits, administered surveys and sought industry best practices earlier in 2012. The goal is to see what changes need to be made to operate as efficiently as possible in today’s environment.

3.3 Expect delivery of results by end of fiscal year. There will be a quick internal review, and the final report will be posted to Western’s external website.

10.1 Meet DOE and Office of Management and Budget Federal Data Consolidation milestones. Meet at least 90 percent of Western’s planned FY12 Data Center Optimization project milestones.

10.1 Western’s IT department developed an implementation and migration plan.

Through the summer, application phasing selection and plan along with physical and network preparations will take place to consolidate the data center to one location with a back-up location.

10.1 Data center selection complete and physical infrastructure is installed in SN. Final network preps are underway.  Networking, storage and server equipment is in procurement with expected delivery to SN in June.  Initial application moves are expected to begin in mid-August.

10.2 Continue implementation of the Enterprise Common Power Billing System.


10.2  Western senior managers chose to have a common power billing tool that will support and enhance existing business processes. UGP had an existing in-house automated power billing solution in its Watertown, S.D., office, which was chosen as the tool to implement across Western.

In the long run, Western will gain cost advantages and efficiencies by supporting one system. Additionally, resources across the regions will expert IT support for one system when issues arise.

The common billing environment is expected to unify billing methods discussions, save time, reduce BIDSS interfacing and costing issues, improve data collection and streamline annual reporting. Western can now automatically email bill copies to our customers.

Western is working on an External Portal for customers to access their Power Bills electronically.

10.2 Implemented WPTBS Version 5.0 at the DSW Region on Nov. 1, 2011.

Upgrade the RM Region to Version 5.0 on April 1, 2012.

Upgrade the UGP Region to Version 5.0 on July 1, 2012.

Additional functionaly is being worked to allow the system to work in multiple billing cycles.

Work continues on the External Portal for the External Customers access to Power Bills.

The team is starting the implementation for the SN Region.


Strategic Plans



Western updated its Strategic Plan in 2011


Capital improvement plans


3.1 Continue to formalize integrated asset management practices better supporting informed capital investment decision making about transmission system construction and rehabilitation activities.



9.6 Work with generators and customers to plan and pursue the most efficient and effective equipment and facility upgrades that will maximize safe hydropower production and control costs as much as possible.



4.1 Appropriated Capital (Western Construction Funding) investments for the fiscal year are executed between 95 percent and 100 percent based upon allocations received.



Complying with NERC reliability standards


13.1 Complete at least 80 percent of the planned activities of the NERC Critical Infrastructure Project Access Control Re­lease III effort.

13.1 Milestones

  • Survey PMA and other utility industry players
  • Evaluate internal requirements for automation applicability, available resources,and matrix against solutions
  • Issue request for interest and evaluate industry offerings
  • Determine “best of breed” and provide recommended direction to leadership

13.1 An RFI was published detailing Western's requirements. Those vendors meeting all requirements will be evaluated and one will be chosen to support Western’s efforts.

13.2 Pursuant to Section 1211 of EPAct 2005 and NERC reliability standards, operate the elements of the Bulk Electric System within equipment and electric system limits in order to prevent uncontrolled separation or major cascading failures of the Bulk Electric System.

13.2 Strive for zero compliance violations for Western’s more than 100 applicable reliability standards and continue to improve Western’s internal compliance program through training, awareness, organization structure, and self assessment. Western also participates in the drafting, commenting, and balloting of NERC Reliability Standards and interpretations to ensure standards that improve BES reliability.

13.2 Western has had 28 possible violations from 2009-2011, 18 of which were self-reported. We have begun implementation of a coordinated Western-wide NERC Reliability Compliance program and are improving our ability to prove compliance through data automation.

13.3 Western-wide Accountable Outages are 20 or fewer.

13.3 Improve processes and procedures by following lessons learned after an accountable outage

13.3 There have been seven accountable outages since Oct. 1, 2011, nearly half of last year’s number in the same time frame.

Integrating variable resources


7.1 To facilitate renewable energy development and transmission expansion, evaluate, select, fund and construct new TIP projects under authority granted in the 2009 amendment to the Hoover Power Plant Act of 1984.

(A) Evaluating potential transmission development projects in support of interconnecting renewables.

(A) Western’s TIP continues to evaluate qualified projects submitted through the Request for Interest process. Learn more about the process on Western's Transmission Infrastructure  web page

Two projects are in development under advanced funding agreements.

(B) Managing the development of new projects under Transmission Infrastructure Program.

(B) Western is currently partnering on the following three projects which will receive funding or partial funding through Western’s TIP:

15.1 Strive to provide an interconnection and transmission service to requesters by the time they are ready to receive energy or deliver energy to a customer or to market.

Managing Western’s transmission queues to assist applicants in getting interconnections to Western’s transmission system in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Western is on track and managing transmission queues and interconnection requests effectively. There have been no instances of a requester not receiving service when ready to receive or deliver energy.

Intra-hour scheduling


15.2 Offer intra-hour (30-minute) scheduling to 1) increase the grid and market’s ability to respond to supply and demand fluctuations, particularly for variable energy resources and 2) allow for more flexible and efficient use of available transmission.

Western began offering intra-hour scheduling July 12, 2011 as part of the wider Joint Initiative Group, which includes ColumbiaGrid, Northern Tier Transmission Group and WestConnect, where Western is a member:


Centralizing dispatch


3.4 Substantially complete consolidation of the Colorado River Storage Project facilities into the Western Area Colorado Missouri Balancing Authority.

3.4 Western is moving all Colorado River Storage Project generation and transmission assets into the Western Area Colorado Missouri Balancing Authority instead of splitting the assets between WACM and the Western Area Lower Colorado BA. This will lower costs for reserve requirements (about $1.2 million per year), free 60 MW of transmission capacity, eliminate dual system accounting and tagging requirements and standardize business practices and IT technologies for CRSP assets and customers.

3.4 In progress with expected completion in October 2012.

3.5 Continue Operations Consolidation Implementation per the project plan, which is scheduled for completion in FY 14. This project includes 5 phases:

1.Migrate the Phoenix and Loveland dispatch centers to the same software and hardware.

2.Reconfigure the Colorado River Storage Project’s system under the Western Area Colorado Missouri Balancing Authority

3.Consolidate scheduling for Phoenix and Loveland dispatch centers

4.Close the Loveland and Phoenix alternative dispatch centers. Phoenix and Loveland Operations and Transmission Services dispatch will back each other up. Operations will transfer between the two centers on a regular basis.

5. Enable full communications to Phoenix-controlled and Loveland-controlled substations from either dispatch center with converged SCADA system.

3.5 In FY 12

a) Commission into production the new Phoenix and Loveland Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems

b) Relocate back-up SCADA servers from the alternate control centers to the Loveland and Phoenix control centers

c) Implement new common transmission scheduling system in Phoenix and Loveland

3.5 Phase 1: SCADA upgrade and back-up for Phoenix dispatch center completed. SCADA upgrade and back-up move for Loveland expected by the end of the fiscal year. The common transmission scheduling system will be implemented in Phoenix, but Loveland’s transition will not be complete until next fiscal year.

Phase 2 expected to be completed in October 2012.

The progress made so far will avoid  $745,000 in costs starting in FY 2014. Significantly more savings will be realized after completion of Phases 1 and 4. Although too early to estimate concretely, we predict millions in savings.

Responding to solar flares


No target set

Western has two representatives attending the DOE webinars and developing a position paper.

Continue attending calls and researching issue to develop the position paper.

Minimizing cyber security vulnerabilities


4.1 Participate in the Western Interconnection Synchrophasor Program and Midwest ISO Synchrophasor Program. Deploy equipment, pro­vide a robust network and provide cyber security implementation that supports synchro­phasor programs in accordance with project milestones.


In the Western Interconnection, Western has five PMUs installed with a sixth on the way in SN as part of the WISP project to take grid measurements that include voltage, current and frequency.

To make this project a reality, regions with existing PMUs—DSW, RM and SN—agreed to jointly fund the necessary upgrades by:

  • Replacing Western’s old Phasor Data Concentrator in Loveland, Colo.
  • Installing an edge router that will connect Western to the WISP Wide Area Network
  • Paying for a T1 line—a high-performance telephone line—to get the data to WECC’s Reliability Centers in Loveland, Colo., and Vancouver, Wash.

New PDC hardware and software have been purchased with the help of Western’s WISP Project Manager who is working out the contract and funding issues. 

The regions also agreed to use their own money to replace the original 1980s PMUs to meet WISP data requirements.

The WISP project is scheduled to wrap up April 2013.

In the Eastern Interconnection, UGP has installed PMUs at Bismarck, N.D., Dawson County,Mont., Fort Thompson and Sioux City, Iowa. Tests are being performed to validate the data and communications to the MISO synchrophasor network.

Estimated UGP synchrophasor project completion date is August 2012.

RM currently has PMUs installed at Ault, Bears Ears, Shiprock, and Yellowtail Substations that are streaming phasor data to Western’s phasor data concentrator. 

DSW currently has a PMU installed at Mead Substation that is streaming phasor data to Western’s phasor data concentrator. 

Testing from Western’s PDC to the WISP PDCs and replacement of Western’s older PMUs are ongoing.

Using Section 1222



7.0 Through partnerships, provide opportunities for transmitting and integrating renewable resources into the grid.


Western is seeking project proposals from entities interested in providing contributed funds under section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 for upgrading existing transmission facilities owned by Western or the construction of new transmission lines in its service territory.

Western has received some indications of potential interest.

Borrowing Authority


7.1 To facilitate renewable energy develop­ment and transmission expansion, evaluate, select, fund and construct new TIP projects under authority granted in the 2009 amendment to the Hoover Power Plant Act of 1984.

Facilitate renewable energy and transmission expansion through TIP.

Beginning in March 2012, a joint DOE/Western team assessed TIP program criteria and processes and held a stakeholder workshop to get feedback on programmatic improvements: the team is currently refining the criteria and processes, and reviewing potential modifications to the program.

Read more on Western's Transmission Infrastructure's web page.

Incentivizing rate designs


9.1 Continue the remarketing effort for the Boulder Canyon Project (Hoover) resourc­es; current power marketing contracts expire in 2017. In the absence of a new Public Law to govern the remarketing process, Western will issue a final decision on the size of the resource pool and the percentage of the pool to be allocated to new customers.

Western issued a FRN indicating that its prior process is now replaced by a process under the legislation. The Desert Southwest region issued another FRN June 14 to conform to Western’s regulations to the new Law. 

The 2012 Conformed Criteria will become effective July 16, 2012. Additional power marketing criteria for new allocations will be established by Western through a subsequent public process.

Learn more on DSWs BCP website.

9.2 Continue the remarketing effort for the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program-- East­ern Division; current power marketing contracts expire in 2021. 

The Upper Great Plains region developed and completed the formal public process for a new 2021 Power Marketing Initiative, or PMI, by publishing the following FRNs:

  • Proposed 2021 PMI published March 4, 2011
  • 2021 PMI Comment Period Re-opened published Aug. 4, 2011
  • Final 2021 PMI published Nov. 16, 2011, effective Dec. 16, 2011

In FY12, Western will substantially complete the project plan to develop and execute new firm electric service contracts.

Learn more on UGPs 2021 PMI website.

9.3 Continue the remarketing effort for the Loveland Area Project (LAP) including customer meetings and tribal consulta­tions regarding the 2025 Power Marketing Initiative (PMI). 

Western’s Rocky Mountain region is responsible for developing and administering the LAP Firm Electric Service contracts and is in the process of developing a plan for marketing and allocating LAP hydroelectric power after the FES contracts expire. 

A FRN for LAP 2025 PMI proposal was published Oct. 17, 2011. Written comments on the proposed 2025 PMI were due Jan. 30, 2012.

In FY12 Western will:

  • consolidate and consider all public comments
  • publish a final 2025 PMI FRN

Learn more on RMs 2025 PMI website.

- Energy efficiency programs


5.2 Coordinate and manage a full range of partnership activities with DOE, American Public Power Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and industry groups to advance the use of renewable resources.

Centennial West Clean Line LLC, an affiliate of Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, and Western have entered into an agreement that outlines a working relationship to advance the development of the proposed Centennial West Clean Line Transmission Project.

The proposed project would deliver 3,500 megawatts of renewable power from northeastern New Mexico to communities in California, transported via a 900-mile overhead high-voltage direct current, or HVDC, transmission line. Due to its low electricity losses and smaller footprint, HVDC transmission is the most efficient and cost effective technology to move large amounts of electricity across long distances. The project will include an intermediate converter station in Mohave County, Ariz., to access the state’s abundant solar resource.


Western will serve as a joint lead agency with Bureau of Land Management in preparing the EIS for the proposed project. Centennial West will fund the costs related to the National Environment Policy Act compliance work and Western’s review and due diligence of the proposed project. The agreement covers the development period of the proposed project, after which it is anticipated that both Western and Clean Line will evaluate the project’s progress.

Western also coordinating a variety of partnership activities with various government and key industry groups including a Radar-Wind Project Mitigation effort, Wind Awards Program, Tribal webinar series, and Tribal renewable project facilitation. Partnerships include Utility Wind Integration Group, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Solar Electric Power Association, Department of Energy Office of EERE – Wind, Geothermal, FEMP, Tribal, Solar and Office of Electricity; NRECA, APPA, DOD, among others.

12.1 Assist Federal agencies with development of onsite renewable energy generation us­ing Western’s purchase power authority. Conduct the annual Renewable Energy Credit aggregation effort for any Federal agencies interested in RECs to meet EPAct 2005 and Executive Order requirements.

The Sierra Nevada region initiated Western’s annual Renewable Resources for Federal Agencies REC aggregation effort on behalf of Federal agencies across the United States on March 14, 2012, with a kickoff webinar. Statements of Interest were due by mid April 2012. Depending on SOI responses, Western will release an Request For Proposal summer 2012.

Western continues discussions with numerous Federal agencies including the Department of Navy, Department of Army, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration on a variety of renewable project activities including pre-feasibility transmission studies, onsite renewable projects, and renewable energy delivered to the facility.

12.2 Continue to offer REC programs for Federal resources in Western’s service area.

The Desert Southwest region has received customer comments on a proposed REC program and is monitoring ongoing California regulatory activities that may impact the final program prior to formal implementation of the program.



Also, Western received requests from three Federal agencies who would like to participate in s 2012 consolidated REC purchase.

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory requested 30,000 RECs for fiscal year 2012, Los Alamos National Laboratory requested 461,231 RECs for 2012 through 2016 and Sandia National Laboratories requested 48,000 RECs for 2013 and 2014. In total, the three national labs requested 539,231 RECs over the next five years.

Attestations for FY11 renewable energy were distributed to SLCA/IP customers. The Colorado River Storage Project MC is the process of developing a renewable energy attestation for the Falcon-Amastad customer.



Western will soon issue a request for proposals to purchase the RECs. If one or more vendors can meet the price, quantity and characteristics requested by the Federal agencies, Western will enter into a contract to purchase the RECs on their behalf.

12.3 Meet 100 percent of Western’s REC requirement

Western has budgeted $5,008.00 for procurement of 1,372 MWh of RECs, equaling 7.5 percent of Western’s annual energy demand.

Western is in compliance with EPAct 2005 and subsequent Executive Orders.

- Demand response programs


4.2 Implement synchrophasor streaming needed to provide real-time data for the Mid-West Independent System Operator’s (MISO) Synchrophasor Project. Execute an agreement with MISO for installa­tion of synchrophasor equipment.

First quarter milestones:

  • The internal network design was completed.
  • The ISA was been submitted to MISO for their review. 
  • Reimbursement Forecast Cost Spreadsheets was submitted to MISO for their review.

In the Upper Great Plains region – Statement of Work has been signed with Mid-West ISO.

In the Eastern Interconnection, UGP has installed PMUs at Bismarck, N.D., Dawson County,Mont., Fort Thompson and Sioux City, Iowa. Tests are being performed to validate the data and communications to the MISO synchrophasor network.

Estimated UGP synchrophasor project completion date is August 2012.

- Integration of variable resources



1.1 Initiate a review of Western’s resource portfolio using Western’s Integrated Resource Planning Principles for Long-Term Power Purchases. Assess risk mitigation strategies.

Western has completed its revised IRP policy on long-term purchases, finished the public process, and has a Federal Register Notice ready for publishing. Per DOE HQ guidance Western is awaiting DOE’s approval before proceeding further. 


Also, April 2012, the Rocky Mountain Region teamed up with the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency to teach Kansas municipal utilities how to put together an IRP that meets Federal regulations. This helps them make their operations more efficient and reliable.

Western’s Power Marketing Management Council is preparing an issue paper to facilitate a decision on next steps for the FRN.


Simplifying the job of submitting the plan is already benefiting both our customers’ and our own operations. Reviewing a report now take about an hour and Western is able respond to customers with recommendations in about two hours.

- Preparation of electric-vehicle deployment


On May 1, Western’s Corporate Services Office leased a 2012 hybrid-electric Chevrolet Volt complete with a  Level II 220-volt charging station from the General Services Administration. This is part of a pilot program to test various electric vehicles for deployment in the more than 600,000-ve-hicle Federal fleet.

Depending on available funds, Western’s Loveland and Montrose offices in Colorado are thinking about installing charging stations as these offices are the most likely destinations for the Volt.

Minimize rate pancaking


9.4 Set rates so that revenue is sufficient to maintain system reliability and repay the operation and maintenance costs and the investment in Federal power facilities within allowable time periods.

Quarter one and two activities and accomplishments include:

RM: Rate adjustment was deemed necessary although drought adder will be reviewed in the fall of 2012.

CRSP: Q1 - FY11 Preliminary Power Repayment Studies updated with the current Operations and Maintenance and power purchase projections. Shows that the current Salt Lake City Area Integrated Projects firm power rate produces sufficient revenues to repay costs and maintain the system. Q2 - Meetings held with Falcon-Amisted and Provo River customers and annual rate installments in preparation.

UGP: Q1 - Preliminary Rate study completed indicating need for public process to adjust Firm Power Base Rate this year – public process on schedule. Q2 - Rate study completed indicating no change necessary to current Pick-Sloan Firm Power Rate.

Western’s office of General Counsel’s staff attorneys are actively engaged with respective regions that are undertaking rate processes this year. 

DSW: All rate processes on track at this point.

Coordinating operations with neighboring BAs



Western meet regularly, quarterly or at least annually with several neighboring balancing authorities, including Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service, Tucson Electric, Xcel and Tristate (not a Balancing Authority but big player).

In addition, since the 2011 Southwest outage, Western met frequently with Arizona and California BAs to discuss improved communication and coordination and also plan for meeting summer energy demand with the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station being offline.  

Continuous improvement and coordination

Participating in Regional planning



6.2 Participate in regional and interregional planning and cost allocations compliance development efforts related to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order No. 1000. Western’s Order No. 1000 com­pliance filing is targeted for late FY13 or early FY14.

6.2Western has formed a small team of subject matter experts to ensure that Western is either monitoring or actively involved in the regional and interregional groups. Those groups include, but are not limited to the California Independent System Operator, Columbia Grid, Mid-Continent Area Power Pool, Midwest Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, WestConnect, various state and subregional transmission planning groups, Southwest Area Transmission forum, Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s Transmission Expansion Planning Policy Committee and the Western Governors Association.

6.2 It is too early to anticipate if we can voluntarily adopt the resultant proposals or if we may be prevented from doing so due to budgetary, statutory or other restrictions.

Western will need to start a public process to adopt revisions to its open access transmission tariff. This would take six months if Western adopts other transmission providers’ proposals or longer if modifications are made that need customer review.

Western continues to participate in regional groups.



7.2 Conduct a cost-benefit and risk analysis on the Western Interconnection proposed energy imbalance market scenarios.

Western has assembled an EIM team to evaluate the cost, benefits, risks and alternatives of EIM for Western. The team will look at various industry and government studies that have been completed as a starting point for assessment. Western is working under the assumption that a net benefit will be identified for EIM, a market will move forward and Western will be a participant.

Because a crucial benefit study from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has been delayed, Western as decided to postpone funding for the program in Western's FY 2014 budget.  Western and DOE expect to reconsider requesting EIM funding for FY 2015.

Revolving fund for capital projects



Responsibility of DOE Headquarters