MEAN Board approves Integrated Resource Plan

October 08, 2017

The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) Integrated Resource Plan will place a priority on future generation resources that incorporate natural gas, wind, solar as well as projects that can provide local benefit.

The plan, which serves as a road map for determining how to supply MEAN’s future electric generation needs, was approved by the MEAN Board of Directors in August.

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires utilities that receive federal hydropower allocations, including MEAN, to prepare and submit an Integrated Resource Plan every five years to the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) under its Energy Planning and Management Program.

The plan is used to ensure MEAN has sufficient power supply to fulfill the power supply demand of its Total Requirements Participants excluding their federal hydro allocation from WAPA. The resource plan, which is reviewed and updated annually, will be incorporated into MEAN’s overall strategic plan and be available on the NMPP Energy website (nmppenergy.org) after final approval by WAPA.

“An Integrated Resource Plan identifies current load forecasts and resources and where the gaps will occur in the future,” said Shannon Coleman, supervisor of resource planning and analysis for MEAN. “It also prioritizes what is most important for MEAN’s participants in choosing a resource to fill those gaps going forward.”

Prior to developing the plan, a survey of MEAN participants was used to gather input regarding several different generation resource criteria. Low cost was the most important criteria, according to the survey. Other criteria considerations included local benefit, operational flexibility/dispatchability, environmental impact, fuel diversity, renewable fuel, power purchase agreement vs. ownership and environmental policy risk.

Demand side management efforts are also included in the plan. Existing activities such as MEAN’s commercial lighting program, infrared energy audits and other energy efficiency and education efforts will continue under the plan as well as the existing community demand-side management programs of MEAN participants.