(1) A utility's electricity supply resource planning, procurement, and decision-making processes should incorporate proven, cost-effective computer modeling and rigorous analyses. A utility should use modeling and analyses to:

(a) evaluate and quantify probable load characteristics, including trends in load shapes, load growth, and price elasticity of demand;

(b) evaluate the potential effect of various rate designs and demand-side management methods on future loads and resource needs;

(c) evaluate and quantify projected electricity supply resource requirements over the planning horizon;

(d) develop competitive resource solicitations, including associated bid evaluation and selection criteria, and/or develop alternative candidate resources for utility construction and ownership;

(e) develop methods for weighting resource attributes and ranking bid offers and alternative candidate owned resources. Resource attributes may include, but are not necessarily limited to:

(i) underlying fuel source and associated price volatility and risk, including risks related to future regulatory constraints on environmental impacts such as emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury;

(ii) contributions to achieving the lowest, long-term portfolio cost;

(iii) total life cycle resource costs;

(iv) contributions to achieving optimal resource diversity;

(v) external costs related to environmental emissions and intrusions;

(vi) direct or indirect transmission costs and/or benefits;

(vii) project feasibility, including engineering, development and financing;

(viii) resource availability, reliability and dispatchability;

(ix) supplier/developer creditworthiness; and

(x) supplier/developer experience;

(f) evaluate the performance of alternative resources under various loads and resource combinations through:

(i) scenario analyses;

(ii) portfolio analyses;

(iii) sensitivity analyses; and

(iv) risk analyses;

(g) help the utility, with input from an advisory committee, inject prudent and informed judgments into the electricity supply resource planning and acquisition process;

(h) optimize the mix of electricity supply resources in the context of the goals and objectives of these guidelines; and

(i) meet the utility's burden of proof in prudence and cost recovery filings before the commission.

History: 69-8-403, MCA; IMP, 69-8-403, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 654, Eff. 4/11/03; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 575, Eff. 3/28/08.