PacifiCorp files long-range plan with commission
PacifiCorp, which does business as Rocky Mountain Power in eastern Idaho, is looking to add 2000 megawatts of renewable power to its energy portfolio over the next 10 years. It also plans additions to gas and coal facilities to meet growing customer load in its six-state region. None of the gas or coal expansions are planned in Idaho.
The utility, which has 68,000 of its 1.6 million customers in Idaho, filed its Integrated Resource Plan with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. The commission is taking public comment on the plan, which details how the company intends to meet its resource needs for the next 10 years. The plan is updated and filed every two years to allow for changing conditions. Acceptance of the plan does not mean the commission endorses all the proposed projects in the plan.
PacifiCorp expects to grow at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in its six states. Growth on the east side of the company’s territory, which includes Wyoming, Utah and Idaho, is expected to be 3.2 percent. PacifiCorp anticipates 0.8 percent growth on its western side, which includes Washington, Oregon and northern California. The company anticipates a 1.3 percent growth rate in Idaho alone.
Of the 2,000 MW in renewable resources, the company plans 1,600 MW of that to come from wind farms planned in Wyoming, Washington and Oregon.
Other sources include: 340 MW from a Utah coal plant in 2012 and 527 MW from a Wyoming coal source in 2014; 548 MW from a natural gas combined cycle combustion turbine (CCCT) in 2012 and another 357 MW from a gas CCCT in 2016, both to be built on the eastern side of the company’s territory; and 602 MW will come from a CCCT natural gas combustion turbine built on the company’s west side in 2011.
Another 100 MW will come from programs that reduce demand on the system, such as irrigation and air conditioner load control programs. The company currently gains 150 MW in demand reduction from irrigation and air conditioning load control programs in Utah and Idaho.
Without the added generation, the company anticipates a resource deficit during times of peak use as soon as next year. With no added generation, the company anticipates it will be 791 MW short, counting a 12 percent planning reserve needed to be available in case of emergencies.
Based on the company’s load growth plan, total generation from pulverized coal will decrease from 64.8 percent of the company’s power supply to 43.4 percent over the next 10 years, while purchases of power from the market will increase from 4.5 percent today to 17.1 percent. Some states, like Washington, Oregon and California, are requiring utilities to procure less power from thermal sources, such as coal, which partially explains PacifiCorp’s plan to increase reliance on market purchases. Generation from the company’s own renewable energy sources is slated to increase from 3.6 of total generation this year to 8.5 percent in 2016. Power from combined cycle gas plants would increase from 8.5 percent of the company’s generation today to 17.4 percent in 2016. Generation from hydroelectric resources decreases from 9.6 percent in 2007 to 6.9 percent in 2016.
The company says it will assume a leadership role in global climate change issues and continue to investigate the development of carbon reduction technology, specifically clean coal, sequestration and nuclear power.
Those wishing to submit comments regarding PacifiCorp’s plan must do so by no later than Aug. 21. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (PAC-E-07-11) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.