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EWEB joins 10 other utilities to take the next step in support of a Western Resource Adequacy Program

December 08, 2022

Bonneville Dam

The Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) has joined 10 other Western utilities to help ensure clean energy resources will be adequate to serve the growing demand in the region, while also managing costs and maintaining reliability for customers.

Companies from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and British Columbia are joining under Western Power Pool (WPP) to commit to a binding resource adequacy program in the region, called the Western Resource Adequacy Program (WRAP).

More than 11 utilities in four states and territories spanning Canada and the Western Region of the United States have already signaled their intent to join WRAP ahead of the Dec. 16 deadline. Current members include EWEB, Avista Utilities, Calpine Energy Solutions, Chelan Public Utility District, Clatskanie People’s Utility District, PacifiCorp, Portland General Electric, PowerEx Corp, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light and Tacoma Power.

"It’s vital that all of us in the Western U.S. work together to make sure that there is always enough power for our customers when they need it most. And by working together, we can all maintain the high levels of reliability that our customers expect, while doing so more efficiently," said Megan Capper, EWEB’s energy resources manager. "At EWEB, we’re grateful for our electric utility partners around the region who are also planning for the future, and we look forward to more utilities joining this important program."

By bringing together a group of clean-energy-focused utilities, the WRAP is expected to provide greater reliability, offer the ability to leverage regional diversity when planning for resource adequacy and enable access to capacity reserves during times of peak demand. The program enables managed costs and better service for customers throughout the region by allowing utilities to act together and share assets and infrastructure upgrades where necessary.

The WRAP would also provide the common planning standards and transparency needed to address the West’s changing resource mix and rapidly expanding load growth.

"The WRAP is an important step forward for reliability in the region as we face the growing challenge of resource adequacy," said Sarah Edmonds, CEO and President of Western Power Pool. "We are thrilled to formally welcome so many distinguished companies into the WRAP. They share our commitment to working together to solve the challenge of resource adequacy in the West. We look forward to more utilities following their lead and joining later this month."

It will be critical for utilities to maintain reliability as the region transitions to a decarbonized power sector. The WRAP program helps with that, while also keeping costs down, by allowing utilities to pool resources from across the region.

The participants and their stakeholders across the West are working with WPP to ensure that the different market options being explored will work with WRAP in a way that preserves the WRAP value proposition. While the WRAP is a first of its kind program, regional adequacy programs are currently in place in all Independent System Operator and Regional Transmission Organization (ISO/RTO) markets.