Move could save customers even more money than the approximately $4.7M collectively in energy costs




The Gazette, Colorado Springs


By April 2026 Colorado Springs Utilities will join the Southwest Power Pool’s expanded resource provider network that will provide the city-owned utility more access to buy and sell renewable energy from a larger market, a move officials said Monday will likely continue saving customers potentially millions of dollars over time. Utilities will join the power pool’s regional transmission organization that will formulate agreements on sharing transmission infrastructure across the eastern and western interconnections of the national power grid, the first organization in the country to do so. The move could save Colorado Springs Utilities customers even more money than the approximately $4.7 million they have collectively saved in energy costs since last August, officials said. Last summer, Utilities joined the Western Energy Imbalance Service market, a subset of the Southwest Power Pool, to give the agency flexibility and potentially greater energy cost savings. The agreement allows Colorado Springs Utilities to sell excess energy on the open market, as well as the ability to tap into that market as needed to purchase lower-cost energy as opposed to the higher-priced and volatile open market. When Utilities brings power in across lines it does not own, the agency pays fees to the owners; the new regional transmission organization agreements could lessen those, Utilities officials have previously said. “Today’s energy industry and related regulatory mandates are rapidly changing and becoming more costly to navigate,” Utilities’ Chief Executive Officer Travas Deal said in a news release. “By participating in shared resource pools like (Southwest Power Pool’s regional transmission organization), we can help maintain system reliability and manage energy costs for our customers — no matter the mandates or market-related pressures. The upcoming expansion of pooled resources will provide a big boost to this effort.” Other Western utilities who will participate in the regional transmission organization include Basin Electric Power Cooperative headquartered in North Dakota, Deseret Generation and Transmission Cooperative in Utah, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN), Platte River Power Authority based out of Fort Collins, and Tri-state Generation and Transmission Association based in Westminster. Three regions of the Western Area Power Administration — the Colorado River Storage Project, Rocky Mountain Region and Upper Great Plains-west — will also join the regional transmission organization in 2026, officials said. The Southwest Power Pool expects its regional transmission organization membership to continue growing beyond 2026, officials said. Utilities spokesman Steve Berry said Monday the interconnection can help prevent electrical system failures, like those Texas experienced during the winter of 2021, because Colorado Springs Utilities can buy electricity from outside the area. “This is one piece of a larger initiative to ensure cleaner energy ... (and) also a reliable, cost-effective, resilient system from an electric grid and generation standpoint,” he said.