The Council’s current plan is the 2021 Power Plan.


The Pacific Northwest power system faces a
host of uncertainties, from compliance with
federal carbon dioxide emissions regulations
to future fuel prices, resource retirements,
salmon recovery actions, economic growth, a
growing need to meet peak demand, and how
increasing renewable resources would affect the
power system. The Council’s Seventh Power
Plan addresses these uncertainties and provides
guidance on which resources can help ensure a
reliable and economical regional power system
over the next 20 years.

In developing its plan, the Council relies on feedback from technical and policy advisory groups and input from a broad range of interests, including
utilities, state energy offices, and public interest groups. The plan also recognizes that individual utilities, which have varying access to electricity markets and varying resource needs, may require near-term investments in resources to meet their adequacy and reliability needs.

Using modeling to test how well different resources would perform under a wide range of future conditions, energy efficiency consistently proved the least expensive and least economically risky resource. In more than 90 percent of future conditions, cost-effective efficiency met all electricity load growth through 2030. It’s not only the single largest contributor to meeting the region’s future electricity needs, it’s also the single largest source of new peaking capacity.

Acquiring this energy efficiency is the primary action for the next six years. The plan’s second priority is to develop the capability to deploy demand
response resources – voluntary reductions in customer electricity use during periods of high demand and limited resource availability – or rely on increased market imports to meet system capacity needs under critical water
and weather conditions. A minimum of 600 average megawatts of demand response would be cost-effective to develop.