South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner Kristie Fiegen has been elected vice president of the Southwest Power Pool’s Regional State Committee. Fiegen received this responsibility during the group’s meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas, earlier this month.
Southwest Power Pool is a regional transmission organization that partners with member companies to manage the power grid. It facilitates the wholesale purchase and sale of electricity. SPP also plans upgrades to transmission networks in South Dakota, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.
Through these partnerships, SPP helps ensure the reliable supply of power, develop adequate transmission infrastructure and lower wholesale electricity prices.
The Regional State Committee is tasked with overseeing the fulfillment of the on-target, customer-driven goals of SPP as it provides bulk transmission, reliability and market services to transmission companies, utilities and end-use customers in the region.
A member of each state’s regulatory commission sits on this committee to give input on matters of regional importance. These include recommending cost allocation policies that determine the amount electricity customers pay for the cost of building and operating transmission lines that cross several states in the SPP region.
“We are moving through a period of rapid change in the electrical supply industry,” said Fiegen. “Given the value and cost of electricity in our daily lives, it’s important for less populous states to have their voices heard as we navigate these changes. This leadership role allows me to represent South Dakota’s interests and ensure South Dakota consumers receive reliable and affordable electricity.”
Fiegen is familiar with holding a leadership role on the committee. She previously served as its vice president and secretary.
Fiegen began serving on the PUC in August 2011 when Governor Dennis Daugaard appointed her to fill a vacancy on the commission. She was elected to her first full, six-year term in November 2012, and re-elected in November 2018. Fiegen is a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Committee on Gas and Subcommittee on Pipeline Safety, and serves on the Gas Technology Institute’s Public Interest Advisory Committee.