Pasadena to Update Power Integrated Resource Plan in Early 2018

Published : Monday, February 26, 2018 | 1:13 AM

Pasadena Water and Power will soon be updating its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), a long-range blueprint for providing Pasadena area customers with reliable, environmentally responsive electric service, competitive rates, and energy independence.

PWP Deputy General Manager Eric Klinkner said the updating will be conducted through an open process.

PWP updates its IRP every three to five years. The utility has made significant progress toward achieving many goals established in the 2009, 2012, and 2015 IRPs, which include repowering of local gas-fired generation, reducing reliance on energy from its coal-fired power plant, and increasing procurements of renewable resources to meet 40 percent of retail sales by 2020.

A graph included in Klinkner’s report showed PWP’s progress toward reducing dependence on coal and increasing its renewable energy resources. It shows that the use of coal for generating power has gone down from about 68 percent in 2006 to about 45 percent in 2016. The use of renewable fuel went up from less than three percent in 2006 to about 30 percent in 2016.

In updating the 2018 IRP, Klinkner said PWP would address important issues that the utility must consider to meet its goals.

It will explore opportunities to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and determine the option to exit from existing contracts, review its existing portfolio of renewable mixes and determine if the allocation needs to be changed or if new offerings are available. It will also evaluate the reliability of distributed generation and other internal resources to support the city’s power needs.

PWP will also balance the challenges and benefits of investing in local renewable sources such as community solar systems and battery storage, as compared to large scale off-site solar systems. It will review current greenhouse gas reduction targets and accomplishments and determine if it needs to update its reduction goals, while at the same time exploring services and programs that could ensure disadvantaged communities can embrace renewable energy sources or other means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Finally, the other major issue PWP plans to address when it updates the IRP is how it could develop options for expanding the city’s electrification efforts, specifically transportation electrification.

Like the 2015 IRP update, PWP will develop the 2018 update with as much participation from the community as possible. The utility plans to organize a Stakeholder Technical Advisory Group to help address the complex issues involved with the updating process and promises to ensure that the interest of residents, businesses, environmental advocates and other community groups are represented.

The 2018 update could take about a year to complete. In accordance with California law, the IRP must be submitted to and approved by the Pasadena City Council before January 1, 2019.

Residents and consumers can continue to monitor updates on the IRP so they could participate.

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