PSE seeks to issue RFP for demand response resources by June 15

With no need for new supply-side resources until at least 2021, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) on April 1 sought waivers from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) allowing the company to alter the timing of several requests for proposals (RFPs).

The utility sought permission to issue an RFP for demand response resources no later than June 15, and said that existing and predicted conservation and energy efficiency gains have negated a need for new supply-side resources in the near future.

PSE’s 2015 integrated resource plan (IRP) projected a need for 154 MW of supply-side capacity by 2017, but that need is expected to be met by conservation and demand response resource acquisitions, the company told the UTC. Therefore, PSE said, it does not need to conduct an RFP for supply-side resources for the 2016-2018 period as it expected in the IRP.

Energy efficiency and demand response additions appear sufficient to meet incremental capacity needs until 2021, and additional renewables are not needed until 2023, PSE said.

The 2015 IRP identified demand-side targets to put PSE on a path to achieve an additional 411 MW of energy efficiency by 2021, and to implement a demand response acquisition process. Demand response resources do not fit existing energy efficiency or supply-side resource models, and PSE needs more time to work on the details for acquiring such resources, PSE said. The company sought a waiver of UTC time requirements to file an RFP for demand response resources no later than June 15.

PSE noted that it issued two RFPs for energy efficiency programs in 2015, and it has since then selected the vendors and implemented the selected programs. With those programs lined up, PSE said that there is no need to conduct an RFP for conservation resources for the 2016-2018 period, which was mentioned in the 2015 IRP.

The utility said that it expects to acquire 411 MW of conservation and 121 MW of demand response by 2021, which would put its need for supply-side resources at 277 MW in 2021.

PSE noted that the 2015 IRP called for the utility to issue an all-source RFP in 2016, subject to an update on resource needs. PSE said it will update its load forecast in the summer, and it will update its capacity needs in light of an upcoming regional resource assessment from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, which is expected to be issued in May.

PSE told the UTC that it plans to examine both elements, its load forecast and the regional assessment, before deciding whether to issue an all-source RFP in 2016.