The Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative has completed the first phase of study of “resource expansion futures” defined by stakeholders as part of an electric system transmission planning effort funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The EIPC has reached a major milestone in completing the macroeconomic analyses of stakeholder-defined resource futures in Phase 1 of the project and in finalizing a comprehensive report on this work. The stakeholders also have defined three scenarios to be studied from a transmission perspective in Phase 2 of the project,” said Stephen G. Whitley, president and CEO of the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) and chair of the EIPC Executive Committee. “We are encouraged by the collaborative approach taken by the stakeholders and state representatives who form the Stakeholder Steering Committee charged with providing input and strategic guidance to the project.”

The final report from Phase 1 of the Project is posted on the EIPC website at: http://www.eipconline.com/Resource_Library.html

The three scenarios chosen by stakeholders for further study in Phase 2 are described in the report as:

  1. “Business as Usual” representing a continuation of existing conditions including load growth, existing Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPSs), and currently proposed environmental regulations.
  2. “National RPS: State and Regional Implementation” represents meeting 30% of the nation’s electricity requirements from renewable resources by 2030. This would be achieved by utilizing a regional implementation strategy.
  3. “Combined Federal Climate and Energy Policy” represents a reduction of economy-wide carbon emissions by 50% from 2005 levels in 2030 and 80% in 2050, combined with meeting 30% of the nation’s electricity requirements from renewable resources by 2030 and significant deployment of energy efficiency measures, demand response, distributed generation, smart grid and other low-carbon technologies. This would be achieved by utilizing a nation-wide/eastern interconnection-wide implementation strategy.

Supported by DOE funding, the EIPC’s initial task was the development of a transparent stakeholder process that included representatives from the states and regulatory jurisdictions in the Eastern Interconnection and from various industry sectors. The stakeholder process is led by a 29-member Stakeholder Steering Committee (SSC) to provide advice and key inputs to the interconnection-wide technical analyses. The SSC chose the three scenarios for analysis in Phase 2 from among eight resource futures studied during Phase 1. In addition, 72 sensitivity runs were completed to help the SSC craft the details of the three scenarios.

A more detailed transmission analysis will be developed in Phase 2 for each of the three selected scenarios, together with a production cost study as well as high-level cost estimates for the resources and transmission facilities associated with each scenario. The project schedule calls for Phase 2 to be completed during the next twelve months with a final project report to be filed with the DOE by the end of 2012.