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Bending the Curve Together: Leveraging Common Goals in Utility Resource Planning and Customer Demand

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Presented by Heidi Bishop Ratz and Lori Bird, on behalf of the Special Clean Power Council (CPC). The CPC was established as a two-year effort between select U.S. electric utilities covering 33 states and their large-scale corporate customers to drive innovation in the decarbonization of the utility sector. Members work collaboratively on mutually beneficial solutions that can be embraced by state regulators and policymakers. From these efforts, the CPC has focused on identifying regional best practices for simplifying access to low-cost, clean energy options while conveying overall grid benefits, including alignment on utility asset planning.

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Bending the Curve Together: Leveraging Common Goals in Utility Resource Planning and Customer Demand

  1. 1. TAKEAWAYS • Utilities and customers can both benefit from joint planning to meet clean energy goals. As renewable and carbon goals proliferate at the state, utility, and customer level, parties are increasingly interested in aligning efforts to ensure clean energy development is efficient and impactful. • Potential benefits of alignment include: more efficient clean energy procurement and integration, more efficient review of utility plans, more rapid decarbonizationas parties achieve their goals, and a stronger relationship between utilities and their customers. • Alignment on clean energy goals requires education on both ends--for utilities to better understand customer needs and for customers to better understandhow utilities approach resource planning. • Customers and utilities have several options for engaging on resource planning and increasing one-on- one, informal collaborationto better understand each other’s limitations and goals. • If formal engagement in an IRP is needed, early engagement and use of engagement forums that combine stakeholders with similar goals can be helpful. • The environment for resource planning is changing and utility-customer engagement can drive innovation in the IRP process itself and create new models of engagement. MINNESOTA SUSTAINABLE GROWTH COALITION In February 2016, the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition was formed. The coalition is comprised of 26 organizations that signed on to a Clean Energy Vision for Minnesota that targets: increasing access to clean energy, surpassing carbon reduction goals through energy efficiency and conservation, transitioning to low carbon energy, electrifying end uses, and promoting of GHG capture and storage. For customers, the coalition allows member companies to align on their respective goals and collectively promote a business case for renewable energy in Minnesota. For utilities, this coalition provides an additional stakeholder engagement platform to share plans with corporate customers and discuss their needs. XCEL UPPER MIDWEST IRP CONSENSUS AGREEMENT In June 2018, a year ahead of their initial filing of the 2020- 2034 Upper Midwest Integrated Resource Plan, Xcel Energy kicked off an extensive stakeholder engagement process with environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists. To reach a consensus with these groups, Xcel Energy held a series of 13 stakeholder workshops to listen to concerns, suggestions and recommendations. Among others, some of the most important topics highlighted in the final IRP submitted for filing include: the retirement of a two coal- powered plants, procurement of 3,000 MW of solar by 2030, commitment to historic levels of energy efficiency and local job creation. As of August 2019, Xcel Energy’s newest IRP has not yet been officially approved by the Commission. . GEORGIA POWER & CORPORATE RENEWABLE PURCHASERS In January 2019, Georgia Power submitted the initial draft of its IRP, proposing the Customer Renewable Supply Procurement (CRSP): a program for corporates to procure renewable capacity. Following filing, stakeholder engagement was necessary to identify the amount of renewable energy Georgia Power would procure. A corporate group called the “Commercial Group” asked for changes to the CRSP program while non-profit groups advocated for increased renewable energy capacity. The Commission assessed the economic case for renewables outside of corporate use and required Georgia Power take a more accelerated approach. In July 2019, they approved a new IRP version that incorporated both the renewable resources for the CRSP as well as an additional 1,500 MW of renewables for a total of 2,260 MW. BENDING THE CURVE TOGETHER: LEVERAGING COMMON GOALS IN UTILITY RESOURCE PLANNING AND CUSTOMER DEMAND STATE IRP REQUIREMENTS EXAMPLES OF CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT IN UTILITY ASSET PLANNING PROCESSES PRESENTED BY HEIDI BISHOP RATZ & LORI BIRD, ON BEHALF OF THE SPECIAL CLEAN POWER COUNCIL The Special Clean Power Council (CPC) was established as a two-year effort between select U.S. electric utilities covering 33 states and their large-scale corporate customers to drive innovation in the decarbonization of the utility sector. Members work collaboratively on mutually beneficial solutions that can be embraced by state regulators and policymakers. From these efforts, the CPC has focused on identifying regional best practices for simplifying access to low-cost, clean energy options while conveying overall grid benefits, including alignment on utility asset planning. CPC UTILITIES AND THEIR IRP REQUIREMENTS INTEGRATED RESOURCE PLANS Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) sets the long-term vision for resource development in a utility’s territory and indicates projected levels of clean and conventional energy resources. As large corporate customers work towards achieving their own ambitious clean energy goals, many have begun to more actively engage in the utility planning processes. This poster, which is based on a longer paper, explores case studies of customer engagement in IRP processes and potential areas of alignment in customer and utility planning. Renewable energy developers may also be interested in learning more about how collaboration between these two stakeholders can unlock greater renewable development through utility resource planning. COMMON GOALS Source: Scott Bolton, Pacificorp Preliminary Preliminary

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