Northwest Power and Conservation Council

10/15/2021 | News release | Archived content

Public Hearings on Draft Power Plan End, But Public Comment Period Continues

In September and October, the Council conducted four virtual public hearings on the Draft 2021 Northwest Power Plan. More than 60 people testified at the hearings, which were conducted by video conference because of concern for the safety of people gathering in person during the pandemic. Each of the four states represented on the Council presided at a hearing.

While the hearings have concluded, the public comment period has not. Comments will be accepted through Friday, November 19. Comments can be provided through our online comment page or by email at [email protected]. Comments also will be accepted at the next Council meeting, which is on Wednesday, November 17.

Under authority of the Northwest Power Act of 1980, the law that authorized Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington to form the Council, the Council adopts and periodically revises a plan to assure the Northwest an adequate, efficient, economical, and reliable power supply. The Draft 2021 Power Plan is the first revision since the Council adopted the current plan, in 2016.

The Draft 2021 Power Plan envisions a future that is much different than the future envisioned in past plans. In the years since the Council last revised the power plan, the power system has experienced changes that place more emphasis on renewable energy generation, like solar and wind power. As more renewables are added to the West Coast power supply in the near future, some inefficient power plants that burn fossil fuels will be retired. These developments respond, in part, to clean-energy policies enacted by states, utilities, and municipalities.

The Draft 2021 Power Plan includes significantly more renewable generation than all our previous power plans. Intermittent energy resource technologies are becoming less expensive to build and operate and are the primary path - combined with reduced fossil fuel generation - to reducing emissions associated with generating electricity.

The draft 2021 Power Plan charts a course for the region through the substantial changes in the power supply that lie ahead.