PacifiCorp planning update submitted to utility commissions

The plan assesses significant changes in federal and state energy policies since May 2023

PORTLAND — As part of PacifiCorp’s biennial resource planning process, the utility has submitted its update to the 2023 Integrated Resource Plan. The 2023 IRP Update presents a refreshed roadmap for the company’s process to acquire new electric generation and transmission resources that will best serve customers over a 20-year planning horizon.

“PacifiCorp’s long-range planning provides a framework for future actions the company anticipates will be needed to provide the reliable and essential electric service our customers expect and deserve,” said Rick Link, senior vice president of resource planning. “We are focused on four core objectives as we plan to serve our customers in the future: reliability, resilient infrastructure, fair and reasonable prices, and a continued transition to clean and non-emitting sources of energy along the important trajectory of reduced carbon emissions.”

Key changes in the 2023 IRP Update are driven by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of Wyoming’s state Ozone Transport Rule plan and a U.S. district court stay of the EPA’s disapproval of Utah’s state Ozone Transport Rule plan. These include extensions to the assumed operational life of certain thermal generating resources, as well as adjustments to the company’s energy storage acquisition strategy, customer demand forecasts and general resource pricing updates.

“Our IRP update delivers customers significant near-term cost savings by avoiding accelerated closures and deferring portions of our previous resource acquisition plans while our longstanding commitment to ensuring reliable service to our customers will require continued investments in several areas,” Link said.

These include:

  • Transmission infrastructure, new wind and solar resources
  • Conversion of two coal units to natural gas peaking units
  • Growth in demand response and energy efficiency programs
  • Addition of carbon capture technology on identified coal resources
  • An advanced nuclear resource
  • Energy storage resources

“Over the long term, we also anticipate the addition of natural gas peaking resources that are capable of converting to non-carbon-emitting fuels. The revised preferred portfolio also includes resources necessary for individual state policy compliance and assumes the allocation of those resources is attributed to the state whose policy necessitated the addition,” Link said.

PacifiCorp’s Integrated Resource Plan is reissued every other year, after an extensive public input process. An update in the interim year refreshes the company’s forecast of customer needs, economic and regulatory analysis and the computer modeling runs used to select the best portfolio of resource types. As such, the company’s planning expectations may change, particularly in today’s dynamic energy environment. The 2023 Update is submitted to utility commissions on an informational basis, as work on the public input process for the 2025 edition of the Integrated Resource Plan began in January.

Resource acquisitions in the preferred portfolio include:

  • 9,818 megawatts of new wind resources.
  • 4,016 megawatts of storage resources, including batteries collocated with solar generation, standalone batteries and pumped hydro storage resources.
  • 3,763 megawatts of new solar resources (most paired with battery storage).
  • 4,326 megawatts of capacity saved through energy efficiency programs.
  • 1,123 megawatts of capacity saved through demand response programs.
  • 500 megawatts of advanced nuclear (NatriumTM reactor demonstration project) in 2030.
  • 5,385 megawatts of natural gas convertible peaking resources that meet high-demand energy needs.
  • Installation of carbon capture technology on Jim Bridger Units 3 and 4.
  • Construction of several new transmission projects necessary to serve growing loads and connect and optimize these diverse, clean resources across the West with a strengthened and modernized transmission network that provides resilient service, reduces costs and creates greater opportunities for our communities to thrive:
    • As supported by needs established in previous IRPs, PacifiCorp is finalizing construction of the Energy Gateway South and Energy Gateway West Sub-Segment D.1 transmission projects and partnering with Idaho Power to build the Energy Gateway Sub-Segment H (Boardman-to-Hemingway) transmission project.
    • Additional transmission upgrades to increase transfer capability and enable renewable resource requests to connect to the transmission system in southeast Idaho, central and northern Utah, eastern Wyoming, throughout Oregon, and in Yakima and Walla Walla, Washington.