Northwest Regional Capacity Adequacy

March 15, 2019, 2:56 p.m. by Frank Afranji
Last modified May 9, 2019, 9:49 a.m.

Given the recent trend in decommissioning coal plants and increasing renewable integration, concerns have been raised about the adequacy of the Transmission system in the Northwest Region. In late 2018 the NWPP hired Don Johnson (on contract basis) to assist Gary Keenan to conduct an analysis of Transmission Adequacy in the NWPP foot-print. Don came to the Power Pool with over 40 years of experience in the Northwest and was previously hired by the US government to teach transmission planning in developing countries in Africa.

In early 2019, the NWPP embarked on a mission to coordinate activities related to a comprehensive review of Resource Capacity Adequacy in the NWPP region. These adequacy concerns were recently demonstrated on March 1st 2019, when the West experienced extreme energy pricing throughout the entire interconnection.

As part of the comprehensive look at Resource Capacity Adequacy, the NWPP held a meeting on February 20th to discuss possible approaches to embark on such a pursuit. The meeting resulted in the creation of two teams. The first was tasked with focusing on recruiting Executives from the region to serve as an advisory group to provide direction and oversight to a proposed Capacity Adequacy Assessment forum expected to be held around October/November of this year. A second team was to develop a one-page description to define the scope of a limited work product related to comparing and contrasting several Capacity Adequacy studies that have been completed to date. This task will be performed by a contracting entity with extensive experience in this area. The work would summarize the findings of each report, describe what, if anything is missing from the analysis, and would then determine if it is possible to combine information from all the studies. This combination would generate a comprehensive analysis of the adequacy or if incomplete, plan on designing a more comprehensive study that covers the entire NWPP footprint, and include all the required analysis elements.  

On March 22nd, a meeting was held at the Power Pool offices which included presentations by various entities on studies that were completed to date regarding capacity adequacy to get the involved parties grounded in the issues. The materials presented serve as the launching pad for a more comprehensive regional study and commencement of the coordination for organizing the contemplated forum.