The EMP Group provides technical assistance and analytical support for interconnection-level planning by the Western Electric Coordinating Council (WECC). Technical assistance is provided to stakeholder participants in WECC’s planning processes, including state and provincial representatives of the Committee for Regional Electric Power Cooperation (CREPC). This assistance informs the design of transmission study scenarios, the development of key modeling inputs and approaches, and interpretation of modeling results.
A primary focus of this technical support has centered on the treatment of demand-side resources and issues associated with integrating variable generation into the regional grid. In this capacity, the EMP Group routinely assists CREPC and other participants in WECC’s transmission planning process with activities such as the following:
- Developing reference-case projections of planned energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed generation resource growth, based on current utility resource plans
- Assessing whether load forecasts prepared by individual balancing authorities fully account for planned or expected growth in distributed energy resources
- Leveraging data from Berkeley Lab’s Resource Planning Portal to ensure that reference-case generation portfolios used in WECC’s studies are consistent with the most-recent utility resource plans
- Developing alternate scenarios that include higher levels of energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed generation, often by leveraging existing or potential studies or tools
- Improving techniques for incorporating dispatchable demand response resources into WECC’s production cost modeling environment
- Assessing the supply of, and demand for, flexible resources needed to integrate variable generation under prospective resource portfolios