Avista submits long-range plan to commission
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission will take comments through Nov. 18 on Avista Utilities’ 20-year plan, called an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), to meet load growth in its three-state territory, part of which includes northern Idaho.
The commission requires regulated utilities to file an IRP every two years that projects future load requirements and how the company plans to deliver low-cost, reliable energy to its customers. The IRP is only a guide and not a commitment to resource acquisition.
Avista projects it will grow to 350,000 customers in its three-state territory by 2007 – up from the current approximate 330,000 – and to 485,000 customers in 2026. There are about 110,000 customers in northern Idaho.
Without adding to its generation, the company would begin to experience energy deficits in 2010.
To meet growth, the company’s preferred resource portfolio by 2016 is a mix of generation sources, including 400 megawatts of wind, 250 MW from coal and another 80 MW from small renewable projects. The company is not proposing any additional natural gas-fired generation due to the high level of natural gas generation already in the company’s portfolio, the rising price of natural gas and the volatility that creates.
Resource requirements are 69 MW lower because of planned conservation programs and 52 MW lower because of efficiency upgrades to existing generating plants.
By 2026, the company plans to have added a total of 1,332 MW of new capacity. Of that 650 MW would come from wind, 450 MW from coal, 180 MW from other renewables and 52 MW from efficiency upgrades. Needs would be 138 MW lower due to conservation programs.
The company currently has about 1,663 MW of installed capacity, 979 MW of that coming from hydroelectric projects and 683 MW from thermal sources, primarily natural gas.
Avista is also in the process of implementing a transmission upgrade plan to add more than 100 circuit miles of new 230 kV transmission line and will later increase its capacity another 50 miles. The company is also building two new 230-kV substations and upgrading three existing transmission substations.
A complete text of the company’s application is available on the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to Case No. AVU-E-05-08.
Comments through Nov. 18 are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the above case number and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.