Bigger Pie Forum | Will the PSC Implement an Integrated Resource Planning Process (IRP) for Electric Utilities? | BPF
One Way the Public Service Commission Can Keep Rates Low, Electric Service Reliable, and the Process Honest
NOTE: The Mississippi Public Service Commission asked for comments and testimony regarding the possibility of its implementing an integrated resource planning (IRP) process for electric utilities. As described by the PSC, IRP is “a long range planning process that requires a utility to forecast it’s future energy demand and evaluate how that demand can most efficiently and cost-effectively be met.”
More specifically, IRP is used “to determine which mix of resources effectively minimizes future energy system costs while ensuring safe and reliable operation of the system for both the company and the rate payers.”
Bigger Pie Forum submitted testimony from Erik Randolph, an expert in utility regulatory matters. Below is a summary of his testimony, the full text of which is available here [2018-AD-64 Written Testimony of Erik Randolph-2018Jul31].
Why the PSC Should Adopt an Integrated Resource Planning Process
It will better ensure the continuation of reliable electric service at the lowest possible cost and will help the PSC fulfill its duty in making sure the public interest is being served.
It takes advantage of the American system of regulating investor-owned utilities, which is considered the best in the world. Part of this system includes transparency and public review within the context utility regulatory procedures.
It provides a check on monopoly power.
Other states that have adopted the process have claimed savings.
An IRP rule is totally consistent with the mission and statutory authority of the PSC.
It can help the PSC in analyzing applications for certificates to build new plants and may help avoid making mistakes, such as with the Kemper County project.
Electric utilities already conduct similar planning efforts. Therefore, it should not be