PUD To Consider Energy Storage A Future Need As They Shape Long-Term Strategy

February 2, 2022



A classic PUD sign from the past…

The Snohomish County PUD has made energy storage part of their Integrated Resource Plan. That’s the long-term plan updated every two years that shapes strategy and considers factors such as the environment, customer needs, compliance with regulations and available resources. Here’s more about the plan which was formally adopted in December.

Snohomish County PUD recently adopted its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which looks at how it will meet objectives to provide reliable electric service at the lowest possible cost over the next 20 years.

The IRP examines customer needs and what power resources already exist, and then identifies if there is a gap due to changing conditions over time. The 2021 IRP recognizes that the PUD faces unprecedented challenges and rapidly evolving conditions, including changes to our climate, government mandates, clean energy targets, an ongoing global pandemic, and growing customer expectations.

The PUD took an innovative approach to building the 2021 IRP. The team developed advanced modeling, which:

Achieved hour-by-hour granularity when predicting future power supply and demand
Incorporated the benefits of conservation and demand-response to lower customer costs
Modeled the impacts of climate change, putting the PUD ahead of the curve in responding to future planning challenges
“The additional data we gathered from utilizing our internal modeling capabilities unlocked the door to new technologies for us to think about,” said Garrison Marr, who oversaw the IRP process as the PUD’s Senior Manager Power Supply.

The final 273-page IRP adopted by the Commission features three key takeaways:

We’re Prepared to Rise to the Challenge of the Future
Analyzing all degrees of climate change, different levels of electrification, and new laws and mandates, the IRP demonstrates that there is a path forward to serve PUD customers and meet current and future state requirements.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is Key
The IRP demonstrates that AMI will be critical for areas from demand-response to load shifting. AMI programs (such as the Connect Up program currently in development) will help customers save money and energy, while saving the PUD money.

It’s the First Time We’ve Identified Energy Storage as a Future Need
This is the first IRP in which the PUD has identified the need to have energy storage that provides dispatchable capacity power to help meet peak peak-demand needs. Now that this need has been identified, the PUD is doing the due diligence to determine how best to provide for it.

For more information on the IRP, including the document in its entirety visit: www.snopud.com/irp.

About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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