Expanded energy conservation and renewable power development, augmented by more natural-gas-fired power generation, continue to anchor Puget Sound Energy's (PSE) strategy for meeting customers' growing energy needs, according to the company's newly updated long-range resource plan.
Despite the current downturn in the economy, PSE's draft 2009 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) forecasts long-term growth in the 11 Washington counties that the utility serves. By 2029, the population within PSE's service area is expected to increase by approximately 1 million. This growth continues a trend for PSE, which, over the past five years, has added 92,000 new electric customers and 99,000 new natural-gas customers.
The updated IRP also confirms PSE's long-standing goal to develop more renewable energy resources, primarily wind power. Today, PSE operates and owns the 386 MW Hopkins Ridge Wind Facility in southeast Washington and the Wild Horse Wind Facility in central Washington.
The IRP suggests that PSE develop another 1,200 MW of wind power by 2029. The expansion would ensure PSE compliance with Washington's Energy Independence and Security Act (Initiative 937). The voter-approved law requires large utilities to obtain 15% of their power supply from renewable resources by 2020.
Aggressive conservation measures and increased renewable power resources could provide 41% of the 5,500 MW of additional power capacity PSE projects it must acquire over the next two decades to serve its customers, according to the draft IRP.
SOURCE: Puget Sound Energy