I. Contracting Organizations

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council (Council) is issuing this Request for Proposals.

A. The Council

The Council is an interstate compact agency formed by the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington as authorized by Congress in the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act, 16 U.S.C. §839, et seq. The Council is composed of eight Council members, two appointed by the governor of each of the four states. Congress charged the Council with developing two major planning documents:

  • A program for the protection, mitigation and enhancement of fish and wildlife affected by the development and operation of hydroelectric facilities in the Columbia River Basin, and
  • A plan for meeting the electric energy needs of the Pacific Northwest for the next 20 years that includes an examination of conservation, renewable, and conventional energy sources that are available to meet those needs.

Congress also charged the Council with informing the Pacific Northwest public of major regional power issues and insuring widespread public involvement in the formulation of its regional power plan and fish and wildlife program.

II. Services Sought by the Council

Per the Northwest Power Act, as part of its regional power plan, the Council is required to develop and include “[a] demand forecast of at least twenty years…”.[1] In addition to producing the long-term demand forecast, data from the load forecast model is used to inform the energy efficiency and demand response potential assessments. The Council’s 2021 Northwest Power Plan included a twenty-year demand forecast, but also identified several dynamic changes taking place across the west that impact our power system. This includes interaction between different forms of energy, with different characteristics, used in the region, and potentially significant increases in future electric loads, depending on the extent of electrification of transportation, buildings, and other end uses. Given this dynamic change and the potential interactive effects, the Council is exploring new tools to improve our long-term load forecasting. To that end, the Council is seeking a Contractor to support the identification of needs, scoping of tools, and ultimately providing a recommendation for a new tool that best meets our current and future needs.

Task 1: Define Needs for Load Forecasting Model

The Contractor will work with Council staff to define the requirements and expectations for a new long-term, electricity end-use load forecasting model. This would include defining the minimum capabilities, as well as nice to have functionality, for each required load sector. In addition to addressing residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors at the segment level (e.g., single family, manufactured homes, multi-family for the residential sector), the Council would like to incorporate modeling for behind-the-meter solar, transportation, and potential new loads from electrification or hydrogen production. The Council is also exploring the potential to include other fuels (e.g., natural gas) in the model, and the Contractor should work to define additional requirements for pursuing this path. The Contractor would be expected to spend some time reviewing the 2021 Power Plan to understand the previous analysis to help inform and identify needs and opportunities for enhancement.

Deliverable: Memo summarizing requirements for a load forecasting model, capturing the Council’s needs and nice-to-haves.

Task 2: Identify, Vet, and Recommend Tool Pathway

The Contractor should identify at least three tool options for the Council to consider that are likely to meet many of the requirements identified in Task 1. At a minimum, this should include two off-the-shelf options, one of which should be the Itron Statistically Adjusted End-Use (SAE) tool. The Contractor should also include a custom-built option so the Council can understand the trade-offs in capabilities and resources required to develop and maintain the tool. The Contractor may identify additional options and should work with Council staff on a final tool suite to consider in this task.

Next, the Contractor will vet the tools relative to the needs outlined in Task 1. The goal would be to understand whether each tool meets the needs as built, has the potential to meet the needs with additional customization, or is incapable of meeting the needs. The Contractor should outline the data requirements and any other elements of each tool, providing the Council with a nuanced understanding of the options. Additionally, the Contractor should estimate the budget and time required to develop and maintain the tool, including any customization required.

The final deliverable will be a recommendation memo summarizing the findings of this work. This includes a summary of each tool considered, detailed documentation of how each of those tools met the requirements defined in Task 1, and a recommended path forward based on the Contractor’s assessment of needs and tool requirements.

Deliverable: Recommendation Memo.

III. Timeline and Budget Expectations

The Council estimates around $30,000-$50,000 for the entire project. The Council reserves the right to revise this budget. Proposers shall include the proposer’s estimated costs per task, irrespective of the Council’s estimated budget. Proposals should be based on time and materials, with a not-to-exceed limit, and include a detailed cost estimate.

The Council would like to complete this scope effort in the Council’s 2022 fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2022. Proposals should identify needed timeline for each task, even if it extends beyond September 30, to inform the Council’s consideration of each proposal and potential contracting options.

IV. How to Submit a Proposal and Required Elements

Email proposals to Steven Simmons by July 15, 2022.

Proposals should include the following elements:

  • Contact information and brief description of the firm submitting the proposal
  • Description of the technical and management approach to complete the work and deliver the services
  • Qualifications of all personnel who will be working on the project
  • Budget proposal that includes the hours and rates of all personnel, with a not-to-exceed cost
  • Reporting schedule and project timeline
  • Web site addresses or listing of similar work that can be reviewed by the proposal evaluation team
  • Any other material the proposer deems pertinent

Any questions regarding this RFP shall be directed to Steven Simmons. Please note that responses will be limited to correcting errors in the RFP or clarifying the RFP’s provisions. If questions received identify significant information that would assist proposers in submitting proposals, such information will be made available by reasonable means, such as posting on the Council’s webpage, to all persons or entities who have received the RFP to ensure all proposers have access to the same information.

V. How the Council Will Select a Final Proposal

An evaluation team will review the proposals. The team will be comprised of staff from the Council’s Power Division. Proposals will be evaluated based on the proposed approach to and the qualifications for the services sought in Section II above. The evaluation committee will also consider the proposer’s cost of service.

VI. Right to Reject and Proposal Costs

The Council reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and may cancel, modify, or revise this RFP at any time. The Council shall not be obligated to procure any services resulting from this RFP. The Council is not liable to any proposer for any loss or expense caused by or resulting from a delay, suspension, or cancellation of the RFP, award, or rejection of any proposal. Proposer shall bear all costs incurred in developing and submitting its proposal.

VII. Project Schedule

Proposals Due: July 15, 2022

Selection of Winning Proposal(s): Week of July 18, 2022

Project Start Date: Week of July 25, 2022 (or as agreed to)

VIII. Equal Opportunity

The Council promotes equal opportunity for all individuals without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other protected status in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

IX. Disclosure Notice

The Council does its work in public as required by the Northwest Power Act. The Council, although not a federal agency, complies with the Freedom of Information Act. The Council’s policy is available for review on our website.

[1] Northwest Power Act, Section 4(e)(3)(D), 94 Stat. 2706.