The right mix of energy resources in the right locations can lower energy costs for the community as a whole, but we have to plan ahead.
We use a Distribution Resource Planning (DRP) process in conjunction with our Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) and Transmission Planning processes to make sure we can meet the demand for energy resources in the future.
What kinds of energy will we need in Oregon's clean energy future? Integrated Resource Planning identifies and plans for a variety of renewable and emission-free energy sources.
Where will we need more energy? Distribution Resource Planning forecasts where we will need more energy resources and prioritizes modernization projects that will make the most of new energy sources.
How will we get energy to our customers? Transmission Planning assesses future capacity and identifies what we need to improve to continue to move electricity safely and reliably.
We believe our 2019 IRP represents the very best path forward as we continue to move aggressively to cut greenhouse gas emissions from our system while maintaining a reliable and affordable supply of clean energy for our customers, now and in the future.
The plan includes measured steps we can take today to address climate change. It also provides maximum flexibility to make adjustments — with consultation from the OPUC and our stakeholders — as technology, policies and conditions related to the COVID-19 crisis continue to evolve.
Throughout the public 2019 IRP process, PGE worked to design a plan that reflects the values of our customers and community, responds to customer and stakeholder feedback, and embraces positive change taking place in the energy industry. We filed the plan with the OPUC on July 19, 2019. After extensive review and input from customer groups and other stakeholders, the commission acknowledged the plan on March 16, 2020. We invite you to read our 2019 IRP and let us know what you think about it.
This plan underscores our commitment to transparency and collaboration as we work to meet customers’ needs. We engaged customers and stakeholders throughout its development, and their insights and feedback were instrumental in shaping our resource strategies.
Our 2019 IRP Action Plan calls for taking prudent, low-risk steps over the next two to four years to meet customer resource needs and set our company on a course to achieve critical long-term goals. Our proposed actions include:
Customer resources: Our customers will play an important role in keeping electric costs affordable while helping us build a clean energy future for all. Our plan calls for a continued commitment to cost-effective energy efficiency and an expansion of flexible load programs, such as smart water heaters, smart thermostats, our Energy Partner and Peak Time Rebates programs. We also recently introduced demand-response-enabled electric vehicle charging, an optional time-of-use rate that will give customers an incentive to shift energy use to times with less demand, and additional programs and products based on our learnings from our Smart Grid Test Bed.
Renewable resources: Our plan calls for additional renewable resources to help meet customer needs in the mid-2020s. New low-cost renewable resources will help us to further decarbonize our system and keep prices affordable.
Capacity resources: Resources that can quickly ramp up and down when called upon are becoming increasingly important as more and more of our energy comes from variable renewables, like wind and solar, which aren’t always available when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun won’t shine. PGE plans to address this gap through a combination of agreements with existing resources in the region and the addition of new, non-emitting technologies such as energy storage.
Colstrip Enabling Study
As part of the 2019 IRP, PGE agreed to conduct analysis into the customer rate impacts of options related to Colstrip. This report describes the findings of that analysis.
As part of the 2019 IRP, PGE commissioned a study investigating economywide pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our service area that contribute to climate change. Draft results were presented at Roundtable #18-1 and PGE discussed options for incorporating the learnings of the study into the 2019 IRP with stakeholders at Roundtable #18-2. The final report produced by Evolved Energy Research can be found by following the link below. PGE has also provided additional supplemental data from the study, as requested by stakeholders.
Market Strategies International conducted a customer insights survey to assess PGE customers’ resource preferences and cost expectations to inform our long-term resource planning, and the development of customer service plans and rates. The survey had multiple objectives including understanding customer concerns and preferences as they relate to Integrated Resource Planning, quantifying customers’ perceptions and receptivity to a variety of energy resource options, determining which resource options customers would be most likely to support and the degree to which certain options would be supported over others, given differences in price and resource mix. MSI presented the results of its study at PGE’s Roundtable 18-1 and the presentation is provided below.
Market capacity study
PGE engaged Energy and Environmental Economics Inc. to conduct a market capacity study that will provide a broad look at regional capacity adequacy in the Pacific Northwest to inform our 2019 IRP. The study provides a PNW capacity load resource balance scenario tool and recommendations for long-term planning assumptions of market capacity available to PGE. E3 presented the study at Roundtable 18-5 on Oct. 28, 2018.
Distributed resource and flexible load study
The Navigant distributed resource and flexible load study was an interdepartmental effort within PGE, shared by our Integrated Resource Planning, Customer Solutions and Distribution Planning teams. The purpose of the study was to create scenario-based forecasts of customer adoption of distributed energy resources, accounting for interactive effects between programs, incentives and technologies. The IRP used system-level forecasts from the study for high-, low-, and base-case DER penetration forecasts. The DERs included in this study are solar, storage, combined solar and storage, electric vehicles (including charging infrastructure), demand response (including pricing programs) and energy efficiency. This information can be found in External Study C in the 2019 IRP.
Flexibility analysis study
PGE worked with Blue Marble Analytics to conduct a study assessing system flexible capacity adequacy and the contribution of a range of resources to flexible capacity adequacy. The study explored options to measure adequacy being used in other regions and develop a methodology to assess the flexible capacity adequacy of PGE’s resource portfolio. Building upon previous flexibility adequacy work detailed in the 2016 IRP, and research of existing literature regarding flexibility, PGE used the Resource Optimization Model to provide an assessment of flexibility adequacy needs under a range of renewable portfolios. As part of the 2019 IRP, PGE presented a methodology and metrics to assess system flexibility adequacy and the ability of potential resource additions to meet flexibility-related system needs. This information can be found in External Study F in the 2019 IRP.
Supply side options studies
PGE contracted HDR Engineering Inc. to provide generic supply side resource characteristics to inform analysis for the 2019 IRP. The resources considered are wind, solar, battery storage, geothermal, biomass, pumped hydro storage and natural gas.
HDR’s study results are presented in the following two reports describing operating and financial characteristics of resources: