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VIDEO: EFX19 General Session Summary

Created 5/14/2019 by Jeremy Litow
Updated 5/16/2019 by Stephanie Lane
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See a video of the May 14 General session here:

Tom Lienhard, from Avista opened the general session with welcoming remarks to all attendees, thanks for the organizers and planners, and a tribute song to NEEA staff (who stood, mostly blushing) for Tom’s rendition of a Frankie Valli song.  We definitely want Tom on our team for the next karaoke contest.

Elliot Mainzer, BPA Administrator, talked about BPA’s positioning for the future, the agency’s activities and its engagement in the region

Elliot touched on the importance of maintain energy efficiency work through market cycles, the growing importance of clean peak management, and how DR and energy storage will be important to take pressure off reliability – focusing on being creative and innovative, and combining hydro, storage, and DR to maintain resource adequacy and reduce Loss of Load Probability.  Ramping demand on the system is getting bigger and bigger.  BPA is deciding later this year to join the EIM or not, and either way that mechanism has taken a bite out of the ramping issue.  EIM is an important component of the market, which needs need both intrahour trading (EIM) and day ahead products (BPA has a new one) together in combination.  Non-wires alternatives (NWA) are increasingly important, and there are new tools coming out of this for transmission planning.  Recommended reading – BPA’s NWA summary report, and BPA has a non-wires planning function, new to BPA.  These approaches will be needed to do cost effective builds.  There is also more focus needed on distribution side resource adequacy, and there is lots of DR and EE opportunity here.  BPA very interested in this issue and how the region can leverage this flexibility, and BPA needs to know about this work for optimal transmission planning—the T&D interface going to get yet more interesting and productive, despite the fact that the NW doesn’t have an integrated RTO/ISO type market.   Meanwhile, the region is questioning long term role of natural gas and there are interesting policy shifts in this area, while the recent interruption of gas from Canada introduced new questions around natural gas reliability and adequacy for the region to think about.  And there are four alternative approaches under review and associated with an EIS on the Columbia River, and this process has created new collaborative (and less litigious) opportunities for dialogue around river management – a most welcome development in the dialogue—all of which look at alternatives for EE and DR as part of the approach.

Heather Rosentrater, Avista shared Avista’s thinking on strategic focus for the region and for Avista, and how Avista is steering its work in service to customers first, and how it will bring innovation and affordability together.  Heather presented some of the key challenges we face, including the infamous duck curve, which grows every yet more extreme (@14,000+ mW) and will take new thinking and resolute action and collaboration to address, including an all above approach of conservation, EE, DR, DER and shared demand management. See Heather Rosentrater's Presentation.

Susan Stratton, NEEA wrapped up the general session with thanks to the presenters and best wishes for all to enjoy the conference.

Learn more about this session from Nic Lane, BPA.

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