Planning is integral to everything we do. It is especially important in determining how we meet the future energy needs of our customers. At the core of this work is our Electric and Natural Gas Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) that support our Energy Vision and its strategic pillars – Economic, Environment, Resiliency and Innovation.
Our energy IRPs are a roadmap to meet forecasted energy demand using both supply and demand side resources to ensure resilient, reliable and cost-effective energy that is environmentally sustainable.
We are required to conduct an IRP once every five years for purchasing federal hydroelectric power from the Western Area Power Administration. The reasons for updating it now are to determine replacement generation and transmission needs prior to the decommissioning of the Martin Drake Power Plant and the dynamic state of the industry. This transformation includes rapid technological advances, changing market conditions and customer preferences and regulatory drivers.
In addition to a great deal of research, planning and forecasting, public involvement is a critical component of developing our IRPs as a community-owned utility. As we develop our 2020 IRPs, community input will take place through our Utilities Policy Advisory Committee. We encourage our customers to take part in the process by attending a monthly UPAC meeting, attending an upcoming community listening session or emailing us.
Distribution of findings, including final recommendations, will be presented to our Utilities Board and community owners by late summer 2020.
2016 Electric IRP developments:
- generating 20 percent of our energy by renewable sources by 2020, with a 1-percent bill impact cap;
- providing incentives and programs that will reduce the average customer energy use by 12 percent, with a 2-percent bill impact cap; and,
- decommissioning the Martin Drake Power Plant no later than 2035. This decommissioning process started with the retirement of Unit 5, the plant's smallest and oldest unit, at the end of 2016.