Integrated Resource Plan

frequently asked questions

An IRP establishes an action plan and long-term trajectory for a utility to meet projected annual peak energy loads, overall energy demand and required reserve margins through a combination of generating (supply-side) and energy efficiency (demand-side) resources. IRPs were mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 in response to the energy challenges from previous decades. Although rules differ, utilities are typically required to prepare and submit an IRP to legislative or regulatory bodies.
Decisions to invest in power production resources are significant and complex, and Platte River’s 2020 IRP will evaluate options to meaningfully plan Platte River’s future power portfolio to address carbon reduction needs. Commitments to generating resources will be carefully evaluated to ensure that long-term customer demand and energy needs are met while meeting goals for system reliability, environmental responsibility and financial sustainability.

Because of the magnitude of information and supporting studies that must be evaluated, an IRP may take several years to complete. A specific set of criteria is required by the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) to complete the IRP. In addition to satisfying WAPA’s criteria, Platte River’s IRP process will consist of the following efforts:

  • A public survey and community listening sessions to assess customer sentiment toward the composition of Platte River’s future generating mix
  • Collecting information to be used in the evaluation of future generation portfolios, such as cost and performance characteristics
  • Reports from independent advisors regarding subjects that will provide insight to guide the overall IRP analysis
  • An analysis of a wide range of generation options that can be used to meet portfolio planning objectives
  • Measurement of key variables to determine a range of possible cost and performance outcomes for proposed generation groups
  • Distribution of findings, including final recommendations to the Board and our community owners
Platte River’s final IRP will be filed with Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), one of four power marketing administrations within the US Department of Energy (DOE), and will become part of broader, long-range planning efforts that are managed by the DOE. Platte River is obligated to provide annual progress updates to WAPA to ensure compliance with the final IRP.
The 2020 IRP will establish a long-run trajectory to satisfy the emissions reduction goals of Platte River and our owner communities while continuing its tradition of strong system reliability and competitive rates. The 2020 IRP will also be used by Platte River to guide its investments in supporting programs, such as those that support conservation and load management, to help meet the overall planning objectives.
Over time, Platte River has become a regional leader in noncarbon generation by assembling a diverse mix of resources and we know our owner communities wish to reduce emissions even further. The 2020 IRP will evaluate many ways to achieve an appropriate mix of resources to pursue the objectives of our owner communities.
Absolutely. Platte River will review an array of potential power production resources, modifications to our existing resources, energy storage, distributed technologies and conservation efforts to determine the best ongoing resource mix to provide safe, reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable energy and services.
We want to know your opinion. We want you to help provide the direction for our energy future.
Of course. Your participation can influence northern Colorado’s energy future. Platte River, our Board and our owner communities value your input concerning the future composition of our generating resources, as well as your expectations for service reliability and energy costs. Participation from you and your neighbors, local businesses and community leaders will be a key component to the success of the 2020 IRP.

We encourage you to take part in Platte River’s 2020 IRP process by:

  • Attending one of our community listening sessions. The schedule can be found here
  • Providing your comments via email

Next steps

We perform integrated resource planning efforts once every five years. Two more are planned by 2030. We will likely begin the next IRP process in 2024 to complete it by 2025.
Absolutely. We are taking action on all elements discussed in our five-year action plan within the IRP (section 4). For example, we recently signed a contract to buy renewable energy from a 150 MW solar power project starting in late 2023. If completed, we will elevate our noncarbon energy deliveries to 60% for our owner communities by 2024. Much work needs to be done to successfully build this solar power project and we will support our partner in this development process.