Truckee Donner PUD board workshop series on electric resources

Submitted to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. – Truckee Donner Public Utility District is preparing a series of board meeting workshops over the coming months to invite the public to learn about TDPUD’s existing electric resources, current opportunities, and emerging technologies. As Truckee’s not-for-profit, community-owned, and locally governed electric utility, TDPUD’s mission exists to serve the needs of our customers.

Customer demand drives the costs, reliability, and environmental performance of our energy services. When it comes to using electricity, both the day of the year and the time of each day are key factors when it comes to the availability of clean resources and the overall costs of electricity.

One powerful tool utilities use to plan for future energy usage in a community is Integrated Resources Planning. IRP’s start with existing customer demand – by day and hour for each day of the year – and seek the most cost-effective way to meet demand, while optimizing clean resources and reliability. On the customer demand side, utilities can partner with their customers to conserve energy and reduce usage during peak times when electricity is the most expensive and the availability of clean resources is constrained.

Once an electric utilities’ demand profile is known and optimized, electric utilities will seek electric resources to meet customer needs. Balancing affordability, reliability, and environmental performance have been key priorities and IRP’s are great tools to help accomplish these goals and meet ever-increasing environmental mandates. For TDPUD, which is a winter, weekend, and nighttime peaking utility which has already achieved over 60% renewable/clean resources and is approaching 100% during the day, the challenge going forward is to find clean, affordable electric resources at night.

TDPUD’s new IRP is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year and will provide insights on how best to manage both the demand side and resources side of the electric utility. This series of board meeting workshops provides an opportunity to learn about electric resources, the realities of needing to schedule electric resources to match load, and the potential projects and opportunities TDPUD may choose to pursue in the future.

TDPUD’s current electric resources include wind, solar, hydroelectric, landfill gas, heat recovery and fossil fuels. Electric resources that are either in development or which could be available within a handful of years include geothermal, wind, solar, battery storage, biomass, natural gas and new nuclear. Emerging technologies include hydrogen, and various energy storage innovations.

The first in this series of TDPUD board meeting workshops will be on Wednesday, Sept. 6 during the regularly scheduled meeting that starts at 6 p.m. at the TDPUD office at 11570 Donner Pass Road, and will cover the new nuclear project being led by the Utah Associated Municipal Utilities Association working in partnership with the United States Department of Energy and NuScale Power. This project offers the potential of carbon free, dispatchable power generation that could be available during the day or night. This informational workshop will include leadership from UAMPS, NuScale Power, and other key project partners. TDPUD did explore this project back in 2017 and decided not to continue, but new nuclear technology has evolved and energy markets have changed dramatically since then.

Future board meeting workshops will cover traditional renewable resources (solar, wind and hydro), base-load resources (geothermal, landfill gas, heat recovery and natural gas), and emerging technologies. The public should stay tuned for upcoming workshops and are invited to come and learn about resource planning for our energy future.

Information about TDPUD board meetings and access to agendas, minutes, live streaming and archived video can be found at

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