Resource Adequacy Program for Electric Utilities in the West

The Northwest Power Pool, with the financial support of 18 of its 35 members, has embarked on the design of a voluntary Resource Adequacy Program for electric utilities in the West.  The purpose of the Resource Adequacy Program is to ensure adequate generating capacity is available in the future to meet consumer demand for electricity.  Electric utilities in the West currently manage resource adequacy on an individual utility basis and many employ different methodologies when forecasting resource adequacy.  A regional Resource Adequacy Program will allow utilities to forecast and manage resource adequacy in a consistent and coordinated manner. The program will be voluntary, but once a utility joins, it will be contractually committed to fulfilling its program requirements. A key design criterion of the program is to maintain local autonomy over utility investment decisions and operations and respect the existing rights of individual utilities, state regulatory commissions, and local utility governing bodies. This panel will discuss the key design elements of a voluntary Resource Adequacy Program. Questions for consideration will include the following:

  • Will the Program Administrator calculate the regional capacity need and assign capacity obligations to utilities participating in the program?
  • Will the Program Administrator determine the capacity contribution of different electric generating technologies?
  • What are the likely forecast windows and compliance timelines?
  • Will the Resource Adequacy Program be FERC jurisdictional? Which design elements trigger FERC’s authority?  How do you preserve the non-jurisdictional status of participating entities if they are part of a FERC jurisdictional program?
  • What are the state jurisdictional implications of a regional Resource Adequacy Program and how might these interplay with elements of the program that are FERC jurisdictional?
               

Frank Afranji, Executive Director, Northwest Power Pool

 

Susan Ackerman, Chief Energy Officer, Eugene Water & Electric Board

 

Scott Kinney, Director of Power Supply, Avista Utilities

 

Mark Holman, Managing Director – Power, Powerex

Additional information regarding the Spring 2020 CREPC-WIRAB Webinar Series is available HERE.