The Imperial Irrigation District’s Energy Department Manager, Mr. Carl Stills, directed each section of the Energy Department to collaborate and prepare the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for 2013-14. The goal of the document is to provide the Energy Department an integrated approach to identifying the generation and power system resources needed to sustain IID’s overall mission to continue as a fiscally responsible public agency providing reliable, efficient and affordably priced water and energy service to the communities it serves. More specifically, the Energy Department’s objectives for the document are to provide the following:
- A development of IID’s overall expansion plan including:
- Transmission and Generation
- Load serving or export
- All Energy Department commodity trading activities
- Local renewable resource development
- Generation assets
- A forecast of generation asset needs
- A developed plan optimum portfolio of energy procurement options to serve load
- A facilitation of the changing environment/industry by being a key industry leader as a transmission/renewable hub
- A flexible framework of future operational and planning activities in compliance with the Energy Policy Act (EPACT) of 1992 and Western Area Power Authority (WAPA) IRP requirements
- An assurance of NERC compliance
While the objective of this IRP is to accomplish the goals outlined above, IID does not hold this IRP as a binding ‘law’ or as an absolute strategy that foresees the unknown future environment. IID will continuously update the IRP as the changing environment of legislation, regulation, IID system status, opportunities and overall organizational conditions evolve. In balancing these objectives for this IRP, all IID activities are driven by four key organizational principles:
- Protecting and maintaining the IID Balancing Authority (BA)
- Sustaining system reliability throughout the IID service area
- Expecting environmental and regulatory responsibility
- Providing competitive rates to its retail, commercial and industrial customers
As a result of the IRP activities that include in-depth analysis and studies, the Energy Department recommends the following:
- To avoid operational issues of excessive power over certain hours of the year, IID needs to explore seasonally based resources, especially renewable resources where possible.
- The district should enter into power supply agreements for an additional 30-50 MW of geothermal generation and 20-60 MW of solar generation with in-service dates by 2017-2020 to help meet RPS standards and reduce GHG emissions.
- IID should continue to diversify its generation resource mix.
- Conservation and demand-side management activities should continue to increase in order to reduce the district’s need for resources that are expected to be used for less than 200 hours per year.
- The district should continue planning to meet GHG emission reduction legislation.
- IID should further investigate the option of self-managing a ‘build and own’ structure for a solar plant and other generation facility technologies on IID owned land as opposed to paying a developer to manage the project development.
- IID needs to continue to explore new technologies of energy efficiency and conservation.
- Exiting the ownership of the San Juan plant will provide IID the opportunity to layer in more must-take renewable generation with less of an integration impact to the IID system and it will also provide more opportunities to reduce IID’s carbon footprint and increase the potential for more opportunities in the Cap and Trade program.
- The request for proposal (RFP) process helps the developer understand what IID needs and it increases competition among the developers and thus, lowers the price and provides a sound negotiating structure for both IID and the developer.
- IID’s hedging program should continue in the gas and energy markets, but a program for emissions trading and renewable energy products should be developed under the risk management policy.
- Completing the Path 42 transmission upgrades should be considered the first priority in transmission planning. This project opens Imperial County for renewable energy development.
- Additional upgrades to the IID transmission system and the transmission system infrastructure will be costly, yet effective in protecting and maintaining the IID Balancing Authority.
- Invest in IID-based and region-wide transmission infrastructure. The Strategic Transmission Expansion Plan (STEP) outlines the needed upgrades and development to expand the IID transmission system and strengthen Balancing Authority reliability.
- With the district’s recently acquired increase of understanding of the CAISO markets and with the surplus of capacity and energy during the winter months of November through April, IID could take advantage of marketing the ancillary services of this surplus and further reduce the impact of meeting RPS/AB32 laws.
- IID needs to study and explore the location and technology type of a peaking generator to be installed and operation by 2018-2020.
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2014 IRP [PDF]