Powering Strong Communities

The Energy Authority, Northwest Public Power Utilities In Strategic Partnership

The Energy Authority (TEA) recently announced its participation in the next phase of the Northwest Power Pool (NWPP) Western Resource Adequacy Program (WRAP) in partnership with seven public power utilities.

TEA will join the WRAP as the load responsible entity, pooling the loads and resources of the seven PUDs, which are Benton PUD, Clark Public Utilities, Cowlitz PUD, Emerald People’s Utility District, Franklin PUD, Grays Harbor PUD, and Lewis County PUD. All of the PUDs are based in Washington State, with the exception of Oregon-based Emerald.

The aggregated group of utilities represents over 440,000 retail electricity customers with a combined average peak load of over 2,700 MW. TEA said its public power ownership and existing relationships make this a logical extension of the portfolio management and scheduling services that TEA already provides.

The PUDs “are seeking to continue their proven track record of providing cost-effective and reliable services to customers in the face of new complexities and an ever-changing industry. Standing up a resource adequacy program is a critical next step as the region undergoes transformative changes in the coming years,” TEA said.

Established in 1997, TEA is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. TEA’s West Region Office, located in Bellevue, Washington, provides a full range of power and portfolio management services for public power utilities located in the Bonneville Power Administration balancing area as well as in the state of California.

NWPP Completes Design Phase of Western Resource Adequacy Program

NWPP began planning the WRAP to prepare for the scheduled decommissioning coal plants in the region and increasing renewable integration. The program includes a comprehensive review of resource adequacy in NWPP’s territory.

NWPP is now gearing up to implement the first stage of WRAP in which participants will commit to meeting a common resource adequacy planning standard. Agreements in the first stage of the program will be non-binding, meaning there will be no penalties if participants do not meet their adequacy obligations.

The first stage also will not include the operational component of the program that would allow participants to pool and share resources during times when grid operating conditions are constrained.

Later stages of the program will layer on additional requirements and functions and evaluate further design changes that may be needed. The full program is expected to be in operation in 2024.

“We have reached a major milestone in our effort to stand up a resource adequacy program in the West,” Frank Afranji, president of NWPP, said in a statement. “A common resource adequacy planning standard will increase coordination and visibility with respect to adequacy in the region and is a positive step toward enhancing regional reliability.”

The next phase of the WRAP project will include evolving the NWPP’s corporate structure to house an independent board so NWPP can serve as the administrator of the program and filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

NWPP said it would continue to work with Southwest Power Pool (SPP) to develop and implement the WRAP project. NWPP has hired SPP as the operator of the WRAP project. The scope of SPP’s services as a program operator include performing forward showing functions, modeling and system analytics, real-time operational program development, continual technical improvement, and IT systems work.

The next phase of the WRAP project also includes new participants Black Hills Power and Clatskanie Public Utility District.

In total, there are 20 participants in WRAP, representing approximately 57,300 megawatts of load and spanning nine states and one Canadian province committed to the program's next phase. NWPP said it expects additional participants to join the program in the coming weeks.

NWPP released a report in August that detailed the design of the WRAP project.