Is there a future for electric-industry IRP?

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Historically, regulators imposed resource-planning rules on electric utilities because of the utility`s obligation to serve. Given that obligation, regulators wanted utilities to plan for and procure a portfolio of resources that provided customers with low-cost electricity, stable prices, and a clean environment. What, if any, portfolio-management responsibilities will the future utility have? To answer that question, one must first define a ``utility`` in the future industry. If utilities are distribution entities with an obligation only to connect customers to the grid, then integrated resource planning (IRP) as it has been practiced during the past decade is over. If distribution entities ... continued below

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16 p.

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Hirst, E. May 1, 1996.

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Historically, regulators imposed resource-planning rules on electric utilities because of the utility`s obligation to serve. Given that obligation, regulators wanted utilities to plan for and procure a portfolio of resources that provided customers with low-cost electricity, stable prices, and a clean environment. What, if any, portfolio-management responsibilities will the future utility have? To answer that question, one must first define a ``utility`` in the future industry. If utilities are distribution entities with an obligation only to connect customers to the grid, then integrated resource planning (IRP) as it has been practiced during the past decade is over. If distribution entities retain an obligation to serve ``core`` customers, then IRP will continue in some form. This paper reviews recent IRPs to see how utilities and their regulators are responding to current and likely changes in the electricity industry. The paper then discusses how IRP might change in the future. These changes include the use of shorter time horizons for planning, a focus on contracts rather than utility built power plants, an emphasis on transmission and distribution planning, treatment of electricity pricing (with time and location dependence) as a resource, and substantial changes in how demand-side management (DSM) is treated. In summary, resource planning will continue. But integrated resource planning will either disappear or will play a much smaller role in utility and regulatory affairs and be conducted quite differently than in the past.

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16 p.

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OSTI as DE96010571

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  • 1996 ACEEE summer study on energy efficiency in buildings, Washington, DC (United States), 25-31 Aug 1996

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  • Other: DE96010571
  • Report No.: CONF-960874--1
  • Grant Number: AC05-96OR22464
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 257398
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc671977

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  • May 1, 1996

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • Jan. 22, 2016, 11:45 a.m.

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Hirst, E. Is there a future for electric-industry IRP?, article, May 1, 1996; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc671977/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.