Utility Resource Plans
An Integrated Resource Plan is a plan utilities produce for meeting peak energy needs while holding some resource margin in reserve. Utility plans consist of forecasts of future load, identification of probable resource options to meet those loads, and details related to power costs and resource management. Utilities with more than 25,000 customers, that are not 100% BPA customers, must complete an Integrated Resource Plan and Cover Sheet.
Most utilities that are fully, or nearly fully, served by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) complete Resource Plans which consist of a summary (cover sheet) of their estimated loads and resources over the ten year planning period.
These ‘full requirements’ utilities negotiate their contracts with BPA which includes a plan to meet peak power needs and reserve margin. Plus, BPA allocates and manages the specific fuel sources that will be distributed. So, ‘full requirements’ utility resource plans require less detail. In some cases, these utilities also provide associated narrative and documentation relating to leadership approval of the plan.
Utilities with less than 25,000 customers and/or 100% BPA customers must complete a Resource Plan and Cover Sheet.
The 2006 utility resource planning law, 19.280 RCW, requires all state electric utilities to develop and update Resource Plans (RP) or Integrated Resource Plans (IRP), making them available to the public every two years.
In addition, utilities must provide the Department of Commerce with a summary of their estimated future resource needs ten years forward. Commerce then reports aggregated load and resource estimates to the legislature in December of each reporting year.
The next reporting deadline is September 1, 2016.