Southwest Power Pool (SPP), a regional power grid operator that ensures access to reliable and affordable electricity, has chosen Carrie Simpson to lead the continued development of its electricity services in the western U.S. as Director of Western Services Development effective Nov. 1, 2022.
In her new role, Simpson will direct the ongoing development and implementation of wholesale electricity markets and other electricity services in partnership with SPP’s stakeholders.
“We’re very excited to welcome Carrie back to SPP,” said Bruce Rew, SPP senior vice president of operations. “She has extensive knowledge and experience in operations and market design, as well as collaboration in the Western Interconnection. That equips her to guide the development of our western services in such a way as to ensure mutually beneficial solutions for current and future market participants, our entire stakeholder base and the customers they serve across North America.”
Simpson’s background in the electric utility industry is diverse. In a career spanning 18 years, she has worked in operations, power marketing, regulatory and market design. Most recently, she was the western markets director for Xcel Energy-Colorado leading a cross-departmental team responsible for analyzing and evaluating participation in organized wholesale markets. In prior roles at Xcel, she did work related to wholesale customer power supply agreements, market design policy and market development in the Western Interconnection.
Previously, Simpson spent six years at SPP, working closely with members and stakeholders to develop and implement energy and ancillary services markets. As SPP’s Manager of Real-Time Markets during the launch of SPP’s Integrated Marketplace, Carrie was a key contributor to the project’s successful implementation. She also spent time on the market design team facilitating the drafting and development of the market rules.
“I’m excited to return to SPP and such an outstanding team,” Simpson said. “Developing services that address the needs of the Western Interconnection is a huge opportunity. I look forward to working with stakeholders across the west in my new role to develop solutions that support affordable, reliable electricity for the whole region.”
Simpson’s role is new at SPP and reflects the company’s commitment to pursuing strategic opportunities to enhance electric reliability and affordability in the western part of the U.S. Her selection comes as SPP nears several milestones in the growth of its western services.
SPP launched its Western Energy Services portfolio of contract-based products in 2018 when it announced intent to act as a reliability coordinator for western utilities. That service went live in December 2019. In November 2020, SPP announced a partnership to assess the expansion of its Regional Transmission Organization into the west, and it anticipates that by March 2023 several utilities will indicate their intent to participate in the expansion effort. SPP also launched its Western Energy Imbalance Service Market in February 2021, and in August 2021 Western Power Pool selected SPP as the program operator of its Western Resource Adequacy Program. Most recently, SPP welcomed announcements in August and September 2022 by more than ten western utilities to support the first phase of its development of a day-ahead market and other services called Markets+.