Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma Corporation Commission Vice Chairman Jeff Cloud has been elected Vice President of the Southwest Power Pool's Regional State Committee, a group that has a critical advisory role regarding the future of the region's electric power grid and electrical service.
Cloud says the RSC now faces critical issues that will have a major impact on electric service and the consumer.
"There are currently federal proposals to promote investment in new electric transmission that could have a major impact on our electric bills," Cloud said. "There is concern that proposed federal rules on air emissions could mean a huge extra burden on a regional transmission network that already faces congestion at times. The RSC must determine how to respond to these issues.
"In addition, both in and outside Oklahoma, utilities and their customers want access to the wind power that is being developed in such wind-rich areas as western Oklahoma. But that will require not only the hundreds of millions of dollars in electric transmission projects already approved in the SPP region, but the projects that are in the planning stages as well. Where best to locate those projects, how to spread the costs through the region and allocate and assign construction responsibilities will continue to be a challenge for the RSC," Cloud added. "Transmission planning is a long-term process and requires understanding of electric utility demand forecasts and projections with regard to regulatory and environmental implications, policies and more. The SPP and RSC not only must focus on transmission system needs for the next few years, but must also project out 10 to 20 years to develop ideas to address issues looming on the horizon."
Cloud noted the RSC is focused on cooperation between states in the region as they face the difficult task of determining what is best for their citizens.
"The RSC is no way diminishes the authority of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and its counterparts in other states to separately address at the state level those electric generation and transmission cost issues that remain within its jurisdiction," Cloud said.
The SPP Regional State Committee provides collective state regulatory agency input to the Southwest Power Pool on matters of regional importance related to the development and operation of bulk electric transmission. The RSC is comprised of utility regulatory commissioners from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Cloud has served on the Regional State Committee for 4 years.