Sixth Power Plan Mid-Term Assessment Report

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This report, which received broad public review and comment, covers the region’s progress in implementing the Sixth Power Plan adopted in 2010, the changes in the energy field, and key topics for the Seventh Power Plan. It was formally adopted by the Council on March 13, 2013.

Key findings:

  • The actual costs for energy efficiency acquisitions are well below the cost of other types of new electricity resources.
  • With non carbon producing resources accounting for more than 70 percent of the region’s energy supply, the Northwest power system has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions intensity of any region in the country. Recent announcements that the Boardman and Centralia coal-fired power plants will close indicate that emissions will be even lower in the future.
  • The character of the region’s power system is changing. Historically, needs for new resources were driven mostly by seasonal power needs. Today, however, the need to meet peak loads and provide flexibility to back up variable-output renewable resources is expanding the focus of the region’s planning and development of new resources.
  • Conditions vary across the region and from utility to utility. Some have growing loads, and others are flat or have lost large customers. Some have surplus resources, and others face deficits. These differences affect utilities’ incentives to acquire resources, including energy efficiency.
  • In addition to planned energy efficiency and renewable generation, additional resources will be needed to assure continued adequacy in the future. Planned utility resource acquisitions appear sufficient to meet these needs.