Region Should Have Adequate Power Supply Through 2020

But for 2021, we'll need about 1,150 megawatts

A preliminary assessment of the region's power supply shows that we're likely to have adequate resources until 2020. Unless economic growth increases dramatically, there's only a 5 percent chance of not meeting demand, the Council's maximum threshold for a shortfall.

The Council's annual assessment helps make sure we're on track to meeting our energy needs for the next five years. Since last year's assessment, which indicated a 6 percent chance of a shortfall in 2019, the region's forecast demand has dropped. Offsetting the drop in demand, however, is the loss of generation from the Big Hanaford gas-fired turbine plant, which is no longer available for regional use. The net result means that, along with the continued energy savings projected in the Council's Sixth Power Plan, we should have an adequate power supply.

The real focus, however, is on 2021, when the Boardman and Centralia 1 coal plants, with a combined nameplate capacity of 1,330 megawatts, retire. That year, the probability for not meeting demand goes up to a little over 8 percent. The region would need to acquire an additional 1,150 megawatts of dispatchable capacity or develop other measures to bring the power supply to adequacy.

Measures to replace the lost coal generation include additional energy efficiency savings, natural gas plants, solar PV, wind, and demand response programs.