Order cites reliability, resource adequacy, regional coordination among program’s benefits
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Western Power Pool today announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the tariff for the Western Resource Adequacy Program (WRAP), clearing the way for full implementation of the region’s first West-wide reliability program
In its ruling, FERC underscored the importance and potential benefits of a regional program and the enhanced reliability and resource adequacy that WRAP would bring. “Through increased coordination, we find that the WRAP has the potential to enhance resource adequacy planning, provide for the benchmarking of resource adequacy standards, and more effectively encourage the use of western regional resource diversity compared to the status quo,” the order noted.
“We’re so pleased that FERC shared the industry’s appreciation for the value of a region-wide resource adequacy program and supported our vision for it,” said Sarah Edmonds, WPP President and CEO. “This is a critical step for the West to help ensure that we can achieve a clean energy future, without sacrificing reliability.”
The WPP board of directors will meet next week to review the order and to officially clear the final hurdle for WRAP operations under the tariff. In short order, the WPP will make the governance changes required by the tariff, which includes seating a new independent board of directors identified in 2022.
“Our governance model, including an independent board of directors, is a critical piece of the WRAP, was demanded by our stakeholders, and establishes the standard for regional organizations like this one,” Edmonds said.
In December and January, WPP received formal commitments from 20 utilities to move forward with the WRAP. Representatives from several of those utilities also applauded FERC’s ruling.
“We believe it’s critical that we address resource adequacy with a region-wide program, strongly believe that the WRAP is the right program to achieve that, and we see the benefits it will bring to the region and to our customers,” said Tom Bechard, CEO of Powerex. “It’s clear that many others share that belief. Now we get to see it all come to fruition.”
“The WRAP will increase reliability across the West and for our customers,” said Michael Wilding, Vice President Energy Supply Management, PacifiCorp. “The WRAP participants and stakeholders, along with the Western Power Pool, worked collaboratively to provide a solution. It’s gratifying to see that work result in FERC’s approval.”
"This program will address the challenge of resource adequacy across the West in a way we believe is most efficient and effective," said Justin Joiner, Vice President of Resource Management for Arizona Public Service. "With this approval, we can move the WRAP forward and start seeing results for our customers and the entire West."
WRAP participants engaged in the first non-binding forward showing program as part of program implementation in 2022, and Edmonds said the first non-binding operational phase of the program will kick off this summer as scheduled.
About the WRAP: WPP is launching the WRAP, which is the first region-wide reliability planning and compliance program in the history of the West. With coordination and visibility across participants, the WRAP provides a more accurate, regional picture of resource needs and supply. It delivers a region-wide approach for assessing and addressing resource adequacy, taking advantage of operating efficiencies, diversity, and sharing of pooled resources. Utilities from the northwest, parts of the desert southwest, Canada and northern California are expected to be part of the WRAP’s overall footprint.
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