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Energy - Planning

Integrated Resource Planning

Oregon was one of the first states to require utilities to file integrated resource plans (IRPs). The IRP presents a utility’s current plan to meet the future energy and capacity needs of its customers through a “least-cost, least-risk” combination of energy generation and demand reduction. The plan includes estimates of those future energy needs, analysis of the resources available to meet those needs, and the activities required to secure those resources. What began thirty years ago as a simple report by each utility has grown into a large, stakeholder-driven process that results in a comprehensive and strategic document that drives utility investments, programs, and activities.

wind turbines in the cloudsThe PUC reviews and decides whether to “acknowledge” the plan, although acknowledgement does not constitute pre-approval of any proposed resource acquisitions. Once a new resource is acquired, the utility may seek to recover the cost, but they must prove the acquisition was prudent and in the public interest. As part of the prudence determination, a utility will need to justify an acquisition that was not part of the IRP, but is not precluded from seeking recovery of such an investment. 

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