On May 31, 2017, Snohomish County PUD submitted its progress report for its conservation and renewable resources to the Washington State Department of Commerce for compliance with the Energy Independence Act (EIA), adopted by Washington state voters in 2006.
The EIA enacted conservation targets and a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), commonly referred to as “Initiative 937,” which requires Washington state electric utilities serving 25,000 or more customers to:
- Pursue all cost-effective energy conservation; and
- Obtain a specified portion of their electricity from certain renewable resources.
Snohomish PUD reported that it achieved energy conservation for calendar year 2016 in the amount of 89,354 megawatt-hours (MWh), which accounts for 73% of the PUD’s 2016-2017 biennial conservation target of 122,990 MWh.
Initiative 937 provides three different methods by which a utility can demonstrate it complies with the annual RPS standard, which increases the amount of renewable resources or renewable energy credits (RECs) a utility must use to serve its customers:
- Method 1 – Renewables Target: A qualifying utility must serve its load with an increasing percentage or target of eligible renewable resources, RECs or a combination of both, by a certain date. The targets are 3% renewables as a percentage of load by 2012, 9% by 2016 and 15% by 2020; or
- Method 2 – No Load Growth/1% Investment: A qualifying utility can demonstrate compliance if it can show it has experienced minimal or no load growth over a three-year period; has only acquired renewable energy or has offset non-renewable energy with RECs; and has invested at least 1% of its total retail revenue requirement in renewable energy or RECs; or
- Method 3 – 4% Financial Investment: A qualifying utility can demonstrate compliance if it can demonstrate it has invested at least four percent of its total annual retail revenue requirement on the incremental cost of renewable resources meeting the EIA. Under this compliance method, a utility calculates the incremental cost of the I-937 eligible renewable resources compared to an alternate or non-renewable resource or resources.
For purposes of the 2017 Mid-Year Report, Snohomish PUD elected Method 1 or the Renewables Target to demonstrate compliance with the EIA. The PUD has previously acquired sufficient RECs and renewable energy as of January 1, 2017, to comply with the 9% renewables target in 2017. As part of the analysis in the 2017 Integrated Resource Planning, the least-cost compliance method will be explored for the 2018-2037 compliance periods.