Clean Energy IRP Development & Procurement

Clean Energy IRP Development & Procurement

January 26-27, 2021 | Online :: Central Time

“Shared the bleeding edge of resource planning for high renewables future.” Expert – Policy Alignment and Resource Planning, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)

State renewable portfolio standards (RPS), clean energy standards (CES), and several types of de-carbonization measures currently exist in 30-plus U.S. states, more than 130 cities and over 300 businesses.  Moreover, some 60 utilities have made voluntary pledges to provide zero or near zero carbon energy by mid-century.

Though these renewable resource mandates vary widely on several elements, to accommodate this significant shift in public sentiment utilities must incorporate new measures and analytical tools into their integrated resource plans (IRPs).  This course will address the most current planning concepts to accommodate the accelerating deployment of renewables, storage, and distributed energy resources (DERs).  It will catalogue several changing market conditions driven by renewables and illustrate with concrete metrics, quantitative examples, and utility case studies why flexible resources are critical for the grid of the future.  The program will also provide electric, gas and long-term resource planning professionals and regulators with specific tools to fashion IRPs that deliver more accurate perspectives and greater insight into uncertainty and risk.  A companion workshop will provide IRP, and other utility staff involved in the administration of competitive renewable procurement: 1) advanced planning and resource procurement strategies for clean energy systems, and 2) best practices and tools to strategically prepare, design, and respond to RFO/RFPs that obtain optimal results.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the new pillars of contemporary integrated resource planning
  • Examine the fundamental changes in the energy landscape in both qualitative and quantitative terms
  • Distinguish reliability, flexibility and capacity concepts in renewables era planning
  • Assess the expansion of ISO/RTO areas in North America and their implications for resource planning
  • Evaluate and value supply and demand side resource options for the IRP



EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this course and 0.4 CEUs for the workshop.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must log in each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case studies and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program.


Tuesday, January 26, 2021 : Central Standard

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log In and Welcome

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. :: Overview and Introductions

9:15 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. :: Program Content

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. :: Break for Lunch

Introduction to Clean Energy Integrated Resource Planning

  • Why resource planning?
  • The evolution of resource planning
  • The standard of prudency in the regulatory context
  • The new pillars of planning
    • Reliability
    • Least cost
    • Environmental performance
  • The evolution of production cost and capacity expansion modeling
  • Tackling uncertainty, from scenarios to stochastics analyses
  • The demand side of resources planning
  • California and other transformative IRP paradigms

Fundamental Changes in the Energy Landscape

  • Changes in electricity demand
    • Changes in electricity supply
    • Policy drivers
    • Customer preferences
    • Technology drivers
  • How renewables affect energy market prices
  • Storage – benefiting from volatility
  • COVID 19 and the energy sector
  • The problem with model-limited choice and the legacy resource bias
  • The need for more advanced analytics in the renewables era
  • Challenges for coal economics

Reliability Concepts in Renewables Era Planning

  • Changing conceptions of supply reliability planning
  • Peak capacity versus flexible capacity
  • Planning for peak reliability
    • Loss of load probability analysis
    • Reserve margin
    • Cost versus supply risk trade-off
    • Effective load carrying capacity (ELCC) of renewables and storage
  • Planning for flexible capacity
    • Ancillary services
    • Relationship between regulation, INC/DEC, and ramping
    • Assessing impact of increased renewable penetration on flexible resource requirements
    • The California supply shortage of 2020

Outlook for Energy Markets and Implications for Resource Planning

  • Expansion of ISO/RTO areas in North America and relationship to resource planning
  • The Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) and the impact on resource planning
    • An example valuation of participating in the EIM
    • How EIM participation changes resource valuation decisions for participating balancing areas (BAs)

Understanding and Valuing Resource Options for the IRP

  • Resource needs for the grid of the future
  • Understanding risk trade offs
    • Physical vs financial hedging
    • Stranded asset risk
  • Thermal resources
    • Reciprocating engines and internal combustion engines
    • Combustion turbines
    • Combined cycles
  • Renewable resources
    • Solar
    • Wind
    • Geothermal
    • Optimizing the mix of wind versus solar
  • Hydro
  • Nuclear
    • Large nuclear retirement decisions
    • Possibilities for small modular?
  • Demand response, demand-side and non-supply side resources
  • Decision making under extreme uncertainty
    • Why fundamental forecasts are essential
    • Why it’s necessary to assume your fundamental forecasts are wrong
    • How to make decisions when all known forecasts are wrong

5:00 p.m. :: Program Adjourns for Day

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 : Central Standard

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log In and Welcome

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. :: Review of Yesterday’s Content

9:15 – 11:45 a.m. :: Program Content

 Battery Storage in the Grid of the Future

  • Energy storage applications and technologies
  • Cost trajectories for storage
  • Energy storage economics
    • Case studies in value-stacking to make storage projects pencil out
      • Optimizing the sizing of energy storage projects for flexible and firm capacity needs
      • Valuation of energy storage for utility systems operating in non-ISOs, EIM, and ISO power environments
      • Electric vehicles (EVs) as fixed and flexible load adoption and growth
      • The economics of batteries plus renewables
      • Batteries as transmission assets
      • Batteries as distribution assets
      • Behind-the-meter battery value propositions
    • IRP business case scenarios
    • Modeling approaches

Case Exercise: Constructing a Clean Energy IRP

Participants will be broken into teams and given specific case situations, such as “you’re a midwestern utility in the MISO with heavy coal supply” or “you’re a balancing authority in the Southwestern US, facing a 50% RPS target and growing behind-the-meter solar installations”. Teams will be provided some data, and a computer will be helpful.  Teams will develop an IRP strategy, which they will present to the other teams for coaching feedback.

11:45 a.m. :: Course Adjourns


Best Practices in Optimizing the Renewable Energy RFO/RFP Competitive Procurement Process

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 : Central Standard


This workshop will provide IRP and other staff involved in the process of competitive renewable procurement best practices and tools to strategically prepare, design, and administer to RFO/RFPs and obtain optimal results. Subject matter experts will share their experiences and strategies to automate, analyze, and decide on the best renewable energy resource procurement outcomes through competitive RFO/RFPs.  Utilities of all kinds (IOUs, munis, coops) and load-serving entities such as community choice aggregators (CCAs) will find great value in the best practices delivered in this course.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe a typical RFO/RFP process
  • Construct a template for preparing and designing renewable energy and REC RFP procurements
  • Define products for procurement
  • Assess administrative elements
  • Determine protocols
  • Identify terms and conditions
  • Discuss project evaluation criteria
  • Review project short-listing elements for negotiation
  • Examine after-the-project-award actions and the IRP feedback loop



Wednesday, January 27, 2021 : Central Standard

12:45 – 1:00 p.m. :: Log In

1:00 – 1:15 a.m. :: Overview and Introductions

1:15 – 4:45 p.m. :: Program Content

Technical Aspects of Preparing and Designing Renewable Energy and REC RFP Procurements

  • The connection between planning and procurement
  • What is “sundown” clean energy?
  • Matching load versus market optimization
  • Determining the self-supply vs procurement mix
  • Bundled vs unbundled resources
  • All-source (mixed resource) solicitation that correlates with the IRP
  • Identifying renewable energy procurement requirements

Contrasting Different Resource Types and Characteristics

  • Wind
  • Solar
  • Geothermal
  • Storage

Define Products

  • Resource need overview
  • Contract tenor
  • Resource tenor
  • Alignment with load
  • Risk hedging
  • Local benefits
  • Environmental benefits
  • Contract structures

RFO Process

  • Protocol
  • Communication
  • Quantitative versus qualitative evaluation
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • PPA negotiation

3 Economic Value Streams

  • Energy
  • Capacity
  • Ancillary services
  • RECs/Carbon Free
  • Avoided T&D
  • Resiliency


  • Components
  • Geographic variation
  • Risk profile similarity
  • Capturing meaningful uncertainty
  • Never cross a river of “4-foot average depth”
  • Simulations
  • NARUC resolution on sub-hourly modeling
  • Evaluating the impact of storage
  • Loss of load probability (LOLP) calculations

4:45 p.m. :: Workshop Adjourns


Dr. Gary Dorris, President, Ascend Analytics

Gary Dorris, Ph.D., President, Ascend Analytics has been a thought leader in energy modeling and risk analysis for 18 years. He has led the development of over a dozen resource plans and pioneered new techniques for risk-based resource planning and portfolio selection.  Dr. Dorris has developed new techniques in risk management that integrate uncertainty around both the physical and financial aspects of a utility’s portfolio.  His analytic innovations have extended toward the development of over a dozen software applications used by over 50 energy companies. In 2001, Dr. Dorris won distinguished recognition from the IPE for contributions to the field of energy risk management.

David Millar, Director – Resource Planning Consulting at Ascend Analytics

David Millar is Director of Resource Planning Consulting at Ascend Analytics. He leads Ascend’s consulting practice, providing utility clients with expertise in risk-based long-term resource planning and valuation. Previously, David worked at Pacific Gas and Electric, where he served as a Principal of Energy Modeling and Analysis. David led data analytics projects to guide company strategy on generation portfolio planning, energy storage valuation, and load and price forecasting. David previously worked in energy consulting with DNV GL and regulatory policy research at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. He holds a master’s degree in Energy Economics and Policy from Duke University, and bachelor’s degrees in Earth Sciences and Political Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Dr. Brent Nelson, Manager – Resource Planning Consulting, Ascend Analytics

Dr. Nelson is Manager of Forecasting and Market Fundamentals at Ascend Analytics, providing utility clients with expertise in demand management, resource planning, and renewable integration. Prior to joining the company, Dr. Nelson was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northern Arizona University, while also holding a collaborative appointment with the directorate of Scientific Computing and Energy Analysis at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He also worked for the US Department of Energy from 2014-2016, focusing on technology research and development programs for energy efficiency and demand side management. He has extensive experience in energy technology and energy system modeling, with a focus on understanding the impacts of future shifts in technology adoption. Dr. Nelson has also consulted for several companies and universities on their energy and sustainability initiatives. In addition to eleven years of experience as an academic with a research focus in energy analysis, he holds PhD and MS degrees in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a bachelor‘s degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.



Clean Energy IRP Development & Procurement

January 26-27, 2021 | Online
Individual attendee(s) - $ 1195.00 each

Buy 4 in-person seats and only pay for 3! For this event every fourth in-person attendee is free!


Best Practices in Optimizing the Renewable Energy RFO/RFP Competitive Procurement Process

Individual attendee(s) - $ 495.00 each

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before December 18, 2020 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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