July 2022 Newsletter: Strategic Plan, Summer, and Infrastructure
Strategic Plan 2022-2025
The NW Energy Coalition recently published our 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, which will guide our work for the next four years. The Strategic Plan includes our updated Mission and Vision, our five pillars of work, and our priorities through 2025.
Thank you to the NWEC board, members, and staff for your contributions, and to Denise Olsen for the design.
In the States, on the Ground
Earlier this month, the NW Energy Coalition joined a multiparty settlement in Avista’s Washington electric and natural gas general rate case NWEC staff pushed for provisions that ensure that the utility is incorporating Washington’s climate and clean energy policies, while also protecting customers during the two-year rate plan. Approved by the UTC, Avista would write-off $4 million in costs associated with the Dry Ash Disposal System at the Colstrip Power Plant. The settlement also ensures that Avista would begin incorporating equity and climate into its capital and resource planning—including better assessment of non-pipes alternatives as part of its gas distribution planning processes, and to publicly report on a variety of performance measures in categories such as affordable service, equitable service, and advancing societal outcomes.
NWEC is represented by Sanger Law in this proceeding. The Commission will review the settlement later this year and issue an order. More information is available in Docket UE-220053/UG-220054.
During the 2022 OR legislative session, one of our priority climate bills — SB 1518 for a statewide Reach code — didn’t pass. BUT, the legislature created the Joint Legislative Task Force on Resilient Efficient Buildings (RE-Building Task Force). Buildings are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, so decarbonizing the building sector is a necessity to address climate change. The RE-Building Task Force looks at both new and existing buildings. Our hope is that the task force’s work will result in comprehensive legislative proposals to be considered in the 2023 session that will lead to big emissions reductions. Decarbonizing buildings cannot come soon enough.
The task force has been meeting since April. If you’d like to see the full membership of the task force, look at videos of past meetings or would like to sign up for updates on the task force’s work, you can do that here. NWEC is closely monitoring the task force and you can expect to hear a lot more about it as the group develops legislative proposals.
On June 30, Idaho Power filed its Application to End the Study Review Phase of the Comprehensive Study of the Costs and Benefits of On-Site Customer Generation (Docket IPC-E-22-22). Idaho Power has requested the Public Utility Commission establish a formal comment period followed by an order acknowledging the study satisfied minimum requirements and directing modifications to Idaho Power’s rate structure be made with regard to on-site generators. Application can be seen here. Value of Distributed Energy Resources Study can be seen here.
After several years since the passage of HB 597 in the 2019 legislative session and a round of informal information gathering, the Montana Public Service initiated a formal rule-making process to change the rules regarding utility resource planning. Resource planning is an extremely important utility exercise, especially now due to the dynamic nature of our energy systems. It’s important that these rules require utilities to plan for the modern times, fully taking into account the value of demand and distribution resources among others. Docket No. 2021.01.007
Decisions are being made across the Northwest to distribute funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). There are a number of ongoing processes:
- The US Dep. of Energy (DOE) recently opened an application window for States, Tribal Nations, and territories to apply for $2.3 billion in grants to strengthen the power grid. The deadline for application is 9/30. More info can be found here.
- The OR Dep. of Energy will be hosting a second webinar this Wed, July 20, at 6pm PT to discuss anticipated funding from the IIJA and to seek input to establish guiding priorities. More info, including webinar info, can be found here.
- $5 billion is being distributed to states via the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program to create a national EV charging network of 500,000 chargers along interstate highways. States must submit a plan to unlock their funds, with each state receiving a certain dedicated amount over 5 years (listed below), by August 1. Learn more about the NEVI program here.
- Idaho: $29.9 million
- Montana: $42.9 million
- Oregon: $52.2 million
- Washington: $70.9 million
- The US DOE recently published allocation formulas that will determine how to distribute $550 million via grants to local governments, States, and Tribes. The funds will be used to implement strategies to reduce energy use, reduce emissions, and improve energy efficiency.
Summer is here! And so is Beth.
Summer is finally here and so is our newest staff member: Beth Brooks. Read on to learn more about Beth and some summer adventures from the rest of our staff.
Welcome the newest Coalition staff member: Beth Brooks. Beth Brooks joined the Coalition as the Director of Development. Her previous work in Development includes Cancer Lifeline, Cascadia Art Museum, and Gage Academy of Art. A longtime arts marketer, Beth has worked with the Empty Space Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Pacific Symphony, and One reel. She lives in Seattle with her family and multiple cats. Whenever she can, she spends time on her family’s tree farm up the North Fork in Montana.
Charlee: “Kayaking on Lake Washington with friends is one of my favorite ways to stay cool on hot Seattle days! We love to race while being propelled by the wakes of passing boats.”
Chris: “A few friends and I climbed Mount St. Helen’s a few weeks ago for the first time. Glissading down made the tough climb up worth it.”
Amy: “I ran the 5K Glow Run in the Snoqualmie Tunnel this past weekend! We also harvested some raspberries.”
Beth: “This is Trail Creek near Glacier National Park where my family has their tree farm.”