On March 8, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) accepted Southwest Power Pool, Inc.’s (“SPP”) proposed revisions to its Open Access Transmission Tariff (“Tariff”) to identify the border between the United States and Canada as the point-of-sale for market transactions that involve a Canadian transmission service provider. Subject to a minor condition, SPP’s Tariff revisions are effective immediately.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative (“Basin”) joined SPP as a transmission owner in 2014. Basin provided SPP with an interconnection to a Canadian transmission service provider that could allow Canadian utilities to participate in the SPP integrated marketplace. SPP filed the proposed revisions to its Tariff on January 8, 2016, to recognize the United States-Canada border as the point-of-sale for transactions involving Canadian entities because it will allow Canadian entities to register resources and make them available under SPP’s market rules.

To effectuate its proposal to recognize the United States-Canada border as the point-of-sale, SPP proposed to revise three schedule types under Attachment AE of its Tariff – the Export Interchange, the Import Interchange, and the Through Interchange. Under the Tariff revisions, the United States-Canada border will be the point-of-delivery for exports to serve load that is located in Canada and the point-of-receipt when importing energy into the integrated marketplace. The United States-Canada border will also be the external interface for use in SPP’s day-ahead market or real-time balancing market for moving energy through the SPP Balancing Authority Area.

On January 29, 2016, Manitoba Hydro (“Manitoba”) filed a motion to intervene and comments on SPP’s proposed Tariff revisions. In its comments, Manitoba agreed with SPP that revisions to Attachment AE are necessary to clarify the point-of-sale for international transactions. However, Manitoba sought to replace “Resource” with “source” in subsections 4.2.2(2) and 4.4(3) to avoid unnecessarily restricting the application of the point-of-sale provisions and prevent exclusion of external generating facilities that are not pseudo-tied to SPP or that are not dynamically scheduled into or out of SPP.

In its answer, SPP stated that it would not object to a FERC determination that such a change should be made.

In accepting SPP’s proposed Tariff revisions, FERC found that “establishing a point of demarcation for transactions between SPP and Canadian entities at the United States-Canada border will clarify the regulatory authorizations required by [m]arket [p]articipants on both sides of the border for international exports and imports between SPP and Canada.” As to Manitoba’s comments, FERC agreed that the use of the Tariff term “Resource” may unnecessarily restrict the application of the point-of-sale provisions for certain types of imports. As such, FERC ordered SPP to replace the word ‘Resource” with “source” for the relevant Tariff provisions.

The order is available here.