Director of Power Planning
Ben joined the Council staff in 2013 as a Senior Analyst, assumed the role of Interim Director in 2016 when Tom Eckman retired, then became Power Division Director in October 2016.
He recently led the redevelopment of the Regional Portfolio Model for the Seventh Power Plan and coordinated the efforts to link together multiple power system models for a cohesive analytical framework for the plan. He is an expert in power system analysis and has represented the Council with regional transmission planners and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. He is a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society and has been heavily involved with the working group on Loss of Load Expectation.
Prior to joining the Council, Ben was an Operations Research Analyst for the Bonneville Power Administration where he worked on the long-term adequacy implications of wind generation, electricity market price forecasting, FCRPS operations and evaluating the benefits of a Northwest Power Pool Energy Imbalance Market. He received a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a master’s degree in Statistics from Portland State University.
Ben's recent news posts
A Pile of Retirements: The Next 10 Years for Western Coal PlantsCoal has been used to generate electricity from the beginning of the electric grid. But generating electricity from coal, at least in the West, may become a thing of the past. And utilities' plans indicate the decline of coal generation in the West will be rapid over the next decade.
Imagining the Future to Prepare for ItScenarios provide critical information to aid the region in navigating through a volatile and uncertain energy future.
Navigating a Complex Path to a Secure Energy FuturePlanning for the power system is challenging. As planners, we try to determine how much electricity we will need over the next 20 years by evaluating uncertainty about weather, fuel prices, and changes in technology.
The State of Research for Planning the Future of the Power GridI recently had the pleasure of attending the Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems (PMAPS) conference in Boise, ID. The conference brought some of the brightest minds together to explore how computer models and mathematics can help keep the lights on.
Do Customers of Rural Utilities Have Higher Electricity Bills?The Northwest has over 100 different utilities, many of them in small, rural communities. How do their electricity bills compare with urban utility customers?
Renewables in a Shifting Energy LandscapeOne of the challenges with wind and solar generation is that the amount of generation you get in any hour depends on the weather. But there are promising solutions that could help meet that challenge.
Do Customers of Northwest Investor-Owned Utilities have Higher Electricity Bills?
The Northwest has over 100 different utilities, many of them small publicly owned utilities. Investor-owned utilities are companies owned by investors that earn a profit for providing electricity to their customers. So as a customer of an investor-owned utility in
National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid Recap
The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid was held in Washington DC from July 9th to the 11th. There was a wide range of presenters at the meeting from a diverse set of organizations. This