Reserves in Power Planning Workshop

In person at Council's offices or by webinar. In person attendance is encouraged.

All meetings are recorded and recordings are available on request.

For those who cannot attend in person: Register for the GoToWebinar.
An email with your unique entry link will be sent after registration.


9:30 – 9:45 Introductions and review agenda

9:45 – 10:30 Discussion about Reserves in Regional Power Planning

  • Definitions
  • Review of plan findings in context of the rest of the regional strategy

10:30 – 11:00 Reserve Planning at the Western Power Pool

  • Discuss role of reserves in regional adequacy planning (WRAP)

11:00 – 12:00 Reserves in Long Term WECC Regional Planning

12:00 – 1:30 Lunch

1:30 – 2:30 Utility Plans for Reserves Associated with Increasing Renewable Generation

  • Review utility plans
  • Idaho Power - calculating reserves dynamically
  • CAISO – perspectives in a footprint with many renewables

2:30 – 3:45 Discussion about Regional Implementation Versus Plan Analysis

  • Review regional utility plans
  • Review other regional plans
  • Discuss reserves and market reliance
  • Poll on regional reserve implementation

3:45  Wrap Up


Meeting background info:

Discussion of the Council’s recommendations on reserves from the 2021 Power Plan and how the region is doing in following the cost effective reserves methodology laid out by the plan.

Who: Council staff, and guests from various stakeholders and utilities. We are looking to hear from a range of voices including, regulators, market analysts, operators and planners.

Info from the Power Plan for the meeting:

As discussed in Section 9 of the 2021 Power Plan* on cost effective reserves, there were three major takeaways from the analysis in the Plan:

1. The least-cost option to maintain an adequate, cost-effective regional system is to couple the investment recommendations (the listed amounts of renewable generation, energy efficiency, and demand response) in the resource development plan with some sort of reserve pooling effort via an organized market or regional collaboration to ensure that sufficient reserves** can be held to mitigate the increasing uncertainty from increased investment in renewable generation. Part of the reason this method is recommended as the most cost-effective is that the amount of reserves to maintain an adequate system could be changed to match needs over time.

2. A more expensive, but effective, alternative is to invest in more energy efficiency than identified in the resource strategy analysis. This will increase the fixed cost investments required by the region but may be necessary to maintain. 

3. A less expensive, but riskier alternative is to plan on more external generation to support the region in times of need. Other regions have varying policies, requirements, and Northwest regional stakeholders have less say in their planning processes. Without a more formalized collaborative process like an organized market, this strategy, while taking advantage of the diversity of a large pool of existing resources, would likely expose the region to significantly more risk.

*Page 102
**Analysis showed that over 3,000 megawatts of additional reserves may be required by 2023 to sufficiently incentivize enough generation to be online in order to have enough fuel to meet morning and evening ramps. adequacy should regional coordination to provide additional reserves proves unsuccessful