As a result of a series of meetings held by the Hope Water & Light Commission during May, Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) will apparently become more involved with the city-owned utility in a described “partnership” to enhance electric service.

As a result of a series of meetings held by the Hope Water & Light Commission during May, Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) will apparently become more involved with the city-owned utility in a described “partnership” to enhance electric service.
This new and enhanced partnership between SWEPCO and HWL, which is owned by the City of Hope, apparently ends a nearly 12-month long process that saw GridLiance float an offer to purchase the city transmission lines for an estimated $1.8 million.
Over the past four months, SWEPCO, which already has the Turk Plant inside Hempstead County, showed an increased interest in city electric policy by countering with their own proposal to the GridLiance one.
The HWL Commission decided to maintain ownership of its transmission system and to continue discussions SWEPCO to plan projects that improve regional reliability. SWEPCO has already been a wholesale provider for HWL for years, and they also are a power supply vendor for Prescott in Nevada County.
Brian Bond, SWEPCO Vice-President of External Affairs, said Friday afternoon, “We’ve marshalled the resources of SWEPCO and our parent company, American Electric Power, to help Hope Water & Light meet the needs of their customers.”
In a prepared statement, Hope Water & Light General Manager Steve Saum said, “We’re looking to meet these goals for Hope – the most important of which is reliability – while bringing back revenue and keeping transmission costs as low as possible.”
According to a statement released by SWEPCO on Friday afternoon, they “will develop and complete agreements in order to reach HWL’s goals. Those goals include:
• Increase electric system reliability and resiliency by integrating HW&L’s local transmission assets into a looped (or networked) system
• Reduce exposure to ongoing transmission operations, maintenance and compliance requirements
• Support Hope’s economic growth”
HWL commissioners and staff met with SWEPCO representatives on May 24 and discussed the plans for transmission investment projects – one by SWEPCO and a second by HW&L – to add the Hope electric system to the regional transmission network.
According to SWEPCO’s statement Friday, once the projects are complete, “HWL would become a regional Transmission qwner and would realize future cash flows that could be reinvested to reduce rates, pay down debt or add new services.”
“HWL is looking for a comprehensive services/operational agreements unique to their operation. This would include maintenance, storm restoration, NERC compliance activities and regulatory support,” the statement said.