Western Resource Adequacy Program
Formerly known as the Northwest Power Pool (NWPP) Resource Adequacy Program
On September 29, 2021, BPA committed to participating in the non-binding forward showing phase (Phase 3A) of the Western Resource Adequacy Program (WRAP). BPA, along with the other Phase 3A participants of the Western Resource Adequacy Program have fully funded the non-binding forward showing phase (Phase 3A) of the program. As a Load Responsible Entity (LRE), BPA is supportive of the regional effort being organized and administered by the NWPP to design a program that strengthens resource adequacy. The non-binding phase (Phase 3A) of the resource adequacy program moves participants into the next phase of development, including through the first full round of forward showing data submittals, building of the models and databases, finalizing program design details, implementation of the governance structures, and program submittal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval.
Members of the NWPP initiated discussions in 2019 that led to a cooperative process to address regional resource adequacy. Based on recent trends of clean energy legislation, retiring coal plants and increasing integration of renewable resources, along with extreme load events, participants in the initiative are evaluating the potential for generation capacity shortfalls facing the West. The WRAP is intended to ensure there is sufficient generating capacity available to meet the region’s forecasted peak hourly demand (including contingency reserves) through coordination, established metrics, and transparency among participants. BPA has participated in the development of the WRAP since its inception.
Development of the WRAP encompasses completion of information gathering (Phase 1) and conceptual and detailed design work (Phase 2). Phase 3 includes the non-binding forward showing program (Phase 3A), the binding forward showing program and the full binding operational program (Phase 3B). Non-binding program participation begins October 2021 and is expected to run through the forward showings for winter 2022-2023 and summer 2023 seasons. Participant decisions on binding program participation is expected in late 2022 with the first forward showing in spring 2023, for a performance period in winter 2023-2024. FERC approval is required before the program can become fully binding.
BPA’s Interest in Regional Resource Adequacy
BPA does not operate as an island; an outage in another balancing authority could lead to reliability issues on BPA’s system, and there is longstanding uncertainty and risk associated with the resource adequacy status of our neighbors. A regional resource adequacy program:
- Provides a clear, uniform standard with accountability and commitment from each participant
- Puts bounds around how much capacity BPA is responsible for providing
- Creates transparency of individual resource and transmission plans
- Creates potential for cost and resource savings through diversity benefits
BPA Decision Process
Phase 3A Participation
In the summer of 2021, BPA explored with its stakeholders whether to continue its participation in Phase 3A of the WRAP. BPA held two public meetings which sought stakeholder and customer input in its decision-making process on whether to participate in the non-binding forward showing phase (Phase 3A) of the program. On August 20, 2021, BPA issued a Draft Letter to the Region on its proposed decision, and accepted comments on the letter through September 3, 2021. After thorough review of comments, BPA issued its Final Letter to the Region on September 29, 2021, with the agency’s final decision to continue participation in Phase 3A.
By participating in Phase 3A, BPA has the opportunity to continue influencing the design of the regional resource adequacy program, allowing BPA to more effectively address the interests of BPA and its customers, as well as the region’s concerns about potential capacity shortfalls and the direction of any future resource adequacy requirements that may affect the Pacific Northwest. BPA will have the opportunity to test the effectiveness of the program on a voluntary basis without the financial (other than committed participation costs) or operational requirements that are associated with a Binding Program. BPA will use the information learned through participation in Phase 3A, in addition to a robust engagement process to discuss and resolve key considerations with customers and stakeholders, in order to inform BPA’s ultimate decision regarding whether to continue its participation in the binding program (Phase 3B).
BPA will also manage a WRAP Public Considerations Tracking spreadsheet
throughout its Phase 3A engagement. The intent of this tracking spreadsheet is to provide transparency of BPA’s intended process, and timing for resolving open questions and key considerations as submitted by public commenters throughout BPA’s Resource Adequacy engagement processes. The tracking spreadsheet will be updated as items are resolved and as new considerations are determined.
Phase 3B Participation
Starting in the fall of 2021, BPA will host a series of resource adequacy engagement workshops that will focus on:
discussing program design updates and impacts to BPA and its customers;
outcomes from BPA’s participation in the non-binding forward showing program activities; and
resolving open questions and key considerations in order for BPA to make a well informed decision on participation in Phase 3B.
Following the resource adequacy engagement workshops, BPA is expecting to kick-off the formal decision process on its potential decision to participate in the binding program (Phase 3B).