Northwest Power and Conservation Council Approves 2021 Power Plan

The 2021 Power Plan was unanimously approved today by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. The 2021 Power Plan will help determine how much clean energy and energy efficiency the Northwest will use by providing a blueprint for power system decisions throughout the region. It comes at a critical time, when the Northwest needs to replace the energy and capacity services from retiring fossil fuel resources to meet aggressive, economy-wide greenhouse gas reduction goals in Washington and Oregon. The region is also seriously considering removal of the four lower Snake River dams to support salmon and steelhead recovery. 

Lauren McCloy, Policy Director with NW Energy Coalition, issued the following statement: “The 2021 Power Plan just approved by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council is a crucial part of energy planning in the Northwest. It sets the stage as the region works to achieve major reductions of economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions, while also maintaining reliability and affordability. The 2021 Power Plan takes some steps in the right direction, providing a climate change adjusted baseline for regional planning and coordination. This is an important innovation in the region’s planning. The plan also acknowledges the expanding role of renewables, and the importance of better regional coordination and Western grid integration. 

However, more work needs to be done. The 2021 Plan falls short on restoring the region’s momentum in acquiring cost-effective energy efficiency and scaling up fast-developing options for demand response and energy storage, when we are on the verge of new demand from transportation and building decarbonization. These resources are essential to balance our plentiful wind and solar resources and meet the challenge of creating a truly diverse, reliable, equitable and climate-resilient clean energy system, while providing additional protection for our region’s fish and wildlife. We encourage the Council to continue refining its forward-looking analysis to help achieve the Northwest’s clean energy and climate goals.”

The 2021 Power Plan can be found here. The Council released the Draft 2021 Power Plan in September of 2021. The NW Energy Coalition held two webinars to inform our members and allies on how to get involved in four state hearings during which public comment was accepted.

The NW Energy Coalition has a long history of advocacy on regional power planning, beginning with the first Council plan in the early 1980s. We look forward to continuing to work with the Council.

About the Northwest Power Plan Brochure by NWEC.