Please send your questions to Idaho Power’s Integrated Resource Plan team using the form below, or by email. Relevant questions, along with Idaho Power’s responses, will be published on this page.
We try to respond to questions within two weeks.
Recent questions and responses
Posted Dec. 21, 2022
How much of an energy increase in EVs would we see from today through 2043?
In terms of energy usage from electric vehicles that are represented in the load forecast that is proposed to be used in the 2023 IRP, the IRPAC meeting on Oct. 13 showed a graphic that depicts a 210 GWH increase by 2042 relative to the forecasted amount in the 2021 IRP in the same year.
Isolating the impact of energy use to the 2023 IRP only, the electric vehicle forecast would be an increase of about 345G Wh over the 20-year planning horizon. By year-end 2022, we estimate electric vehicles use about 20 GWh of energy. By the end of 2042 that estimate is approximately 365 GWh.
Posted Nov. 3, 2022
How has Idaho Power increased the intelligence of the grid to improve the integration of Variable Energy Resources? Is SMART grid considered a resource, demand response, or is it modeled a different way? Can the SMART grid help? The benefits of a SMART grid can be large; some consider it a necessity.
The term “Smart Grid” includes many aspects of how the grid can be designed to automatically respond and adjust to system changes. In some cases the smart grid will allow for greater connection of variable energy resources and in other cases the smart grid will improve reliability, to name a few.
The following examples demonstrate the diverse benefits of smart grid improvements made by Idaho Power:
- Installation of an Integrated Volt-VAR Control system that takes measurements across the system and uses the information to make decisions and remotely control field equipment to maintain optimal power characteristics on each distribution line.
- Idaho Power requires all inverter-based energy resources such as photovoltaic solar and energy storage to use the latest smart inverters (see Schedule 68 for details).
Smart inverters monitor and adjust the output of resources to support the system voltage as well other benefits. These two examples are smart grid features which allow for a higher penetration of variable energy resources connected to the grid.
I’ve read about tribal governments installing large amounts of solar + battery. Will they be providing or selling any of that to Idaho Power via PPAs or other arrangements?
Idaho Power does not currently have any Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) with projects located on tribal land or owned by tribal governments. However, the Inflation Reduction Act provides additional incentives for a wind or solar facility located on tribal lands. Idaho Power offers a competitive bidding process for potential future generation resources. The Inflation Reduction Act may create additional options to source agreements with tribal governments, as well as low income communities and some other qualifying locations, in the future.
How is the Company planning to assess the reliability of those market purchases given that Oregon and Washington are continuing to increase EV adoption which can affect power availability in the evening hours?
The Company will continue to monitor Mid-C market conditions as the region electrifies by analyzing load and resource forecasts from the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region. Increased EV adoption will not change the seasonal load diversity between regions with the PNW being winter peaking and Southern Idaho being summer peaking. In fact, electrification in general (heating specifically) is likely to drive up winter peak needs in the PNW and the region will need to plan and build for this increased winter peak due to electrification. This will lead to increased market depth in the winter months.