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TDPUD intends to diversify its energy sources

Christine Stanley
Sierra Sun

Before voting on a power contract Wednesday, the Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s board will consider a resolution to adopt an integrated resource plan that will solidify a power portfolio goal for the district.

In doing so, the board will be able to pinpoint energy areas of interest to pursue, including wind power and hydroelectric power in larger quantities than are already used.

“If we go to an ownership share portfolio (by signing the power contract to purchase entitlement shares from Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems), it will give us more options for what our mix can be,” said Electric Utility Manager Stephen Hollabaugh. “It’s changing from a market-based purchase program to a bits-and-pieces portfolio program that is more diversified.”

District staff has presented the board with four power portfolio options, three of which offer hydroelectric power, wind power and coal-based power. The fourth alternative entails purchasing all power at market rates, and allows for fewer renewable power options, Hollabaugh said.

The portfolio option district General Manager Peter Holzmeister recommended to the board by includes purchasing 15 megawatts (MW) of coal-based power from Intermountain Power Project 3 in Utah to cover Truckee’s baseload ” about the minimum average need.

The recommended portfolio also includes purchasing 8 MW of wind energy, 8 MW of natural gas and a small, but undefined, amount of hydroelectric power.

One goal of such a mix is to secure 20 percent renewable energy for Truckee by 2012, said Holzmeister.

Use of renewables currently accounts for 17 percent of the district’s power mix, said Holzmeister, compared to 8 percent statewide and 2 percent nationally.

“If we do go for the contract, we are going to save some money, and if we don’t, then we are going to market, but we will still strive for the portfolio,” said board member Joe Aguera.

The board is looking at four options, Aguera said, but they are not set in stone and can be tinkered with until the board finds a portfolio with optimal diversification.

At Wednesday’s board meeting, the Truckee Donner Public Utility District will consider a resolution to adopt an integrated resource plan that will solidify a power portfolio goal for the district. Three of the options will work best if the board decided to adopt a power contract with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, and the fourth portfolio would likely be the option should the board reject the contract, according to Electric Utility Manager Stephen Hollabaugh.

Some of the portfolio options, as prepared by Hollabaugh, include:

– No. 1: A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal to be 15 percent emission-free by 2012. The cost of this portfolio is estimated at $8.47 million, or $45.47 per megawatt hour (MWh) on average, and includes:

-18 MW coal

-4 MW wind

-4 MW natural gas

-A small but undefined amount of hydroelectric

– No. 2: Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal to be 20 percent emission-free by 2012. The cost of this portfolio is estimated at $9.23 million, or $49.55 per MWh on average, and includes:

-15 MW coal

-8 MW wind

-8 MW natural gas

-A small but undefined amount of hydroelectric

– No. 3: Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal to be 25 percent emission-free by 2012. The cost of this portfolio is estimated at $10.27 million, or $55.13 per MWh on average, and includes:

-11 MW coal

-13 MW wind

-13 MW natural gas

-A small but undefined amount of hydroelectric

– No. 4: This option does not have an RPS goal. The cost of this portfolio is estimated at $13.05 million, or $70.1 per MWh, and includes:

-all energy purchased at market rates

-little room for alternative resources.


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