FERC's acceptance of California ISO's Western EIM implementation agreement with Bonneville put BPA a step closer to deciding whether to join the real-time energy market [ER20-536]. The agreement, signed in September (CU No. 1919 ) and accepted by FERC Feb. 28, isn't a green light for the BPA to join the market; rather, it allows it to continue investigating policy issues and rate and tariff impacts associated with joining the EIM in 2022. Bonneville garnered unanimous stakeholder approval to sign the agreement (CU No. 1921 ).
All public hearings on the Columbia River System Operations draft EIS will now be held by phone, due to concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak. The meetings begin at 4 p.m. Pacific Time, and callers can provide a comment and listen to other comments. Other meetings are scheduled for March 17-19, March 25-26, and March 31.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council will hold its monthly meeting on March 17 via webinar due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The agenda has been revised to meet on one day only to accommodate travel limitations. To help slow the outbreak, the Council said, it will make all meetings virtual, and limit access to its offices to employees. The policy will be in place until the end of April, when it will be revisited.
Anita Decker has been reappointed to a second term on the Western EIM Governing Body, which oversees the real-time energy market. Decker was first appointed to fill an unexpired term that will end in June. Her new term is effective July 1, 2020, and runs through June 30, 2023. In her 39-year career, Decker has been executive director of the Northwest Public Power Association, served as the chief operating officer for BPA and held positions in Oregon, Wyoming, and Utah for PacifiCorp.
Avista's deadline for filing a natural-gas integrated resource plan in Oregon has been delayed seven months, to April 1, 2021, in order to determine the impacts from several new Oregon and Washington laws affecting resource planning. These laws include Washington's Clean Energy Transformation Act (Senate Bill 5116), updated appliance efficiency standards (House Bill 1444), and energy efficiency requirements that include a renewable natural gas (RNG) investment pathway (HB 1257). In Oregon, SB 98 supports adding as much as 30 percent RNG into the state's pipeline system by 2050. The Oregon PUC, which approved the delay on March 11, had previously agreed to move the deadline up to Aug. 31, 2020, in order to align with Avista's Washington natural-gas IRP filing.