38.5.2022 PLAN CONTENTS
(1) Resource plans shall contain at least the following information:
(a) A description of any changes a utility has made to the content of its plan or its planning process in response to the Commission's comments on its last plan and how the changes affect the current plan, along with reasoned explanations for any Commission comment with which the utility disagrees. Cross-references shall be provided for all changes.
(b) Annual electricity demand and energy forecasts for each year of the planning period for each major rate or service class; an explanation of the forecasting method(s) and assumptions; and the historical customer counts, population data, load data, and end-use data used in the forecasting process, as applicable. Changes to the forecasting method(s) and assumptions used in the prior plan must be thoroughly explained.
(c) A description and graphical presentation of daily and seasonal electric demand and energy requirements for each major rate or service class, the variability of those requirements, and how the utility assessed historical trends, and the potential for future changes in the timing and variability of electric demand and energy requirements in the development of the plan.
(d) A description of the electric generating capability and characteristics of each of the utility's existing resources. The description must include the generator type and fuel source, nameplate capacity, effective load carrying capability or other probabilistic capacity contribution estimate, expected annual energy production, storage capability, capacity factor, forced outage rate, annual emissions of carbon dioxide, online date, and expected retirement date. The description must include any historical data used to develop the reported generating capabilities and characteristics. The description may be in table form with accompanying explanatory text, as necessary.
(e) A description of the current average annual variable cost or contract price for each of the utility's existing power resources, including storage resources, and the expected or projected average annual variable cost or contract prices at 5-year increments for the planning period. The description may be in table form with accompanying explanatory text, as necessary.
(f) A description of the aggregate load-serving capability and characteristics of existing programmatic demand-side resources within the utility's system and a forecast of aggregate capability over the planning period. The description must address each demand-side resource program offered and its total load-serving capabilities. The description may be in table form with accompanying explanatory text, as necessary. The description must provide the following historical information for each year since the utility's last plan:
(i) program expenditures;
(ii) incentive payments;
(iii) demand and energy savings and the methods and assumptions used to estimate the savings;
(iv) measures of the cost-effectiveness of the program, including avoided costs, and the techniques used to estimate those costs;
(v) annualized cost of saved energy and capacity and the techniques used to estimate those costs; and
(vi) estimates of the net economic benefit of the programs.
(g) A resource adequacy assessment based on existing resources and a description of the nature of the need for additional resources to achieve industry-standard adequacy standards or reserve margin requirements. The plan must completely and thoroughly describe the method(s) and assumptions used in the assessment, including the basis for the adequacy standard or reserve margin requirement and computer modeling and model validation procedures. The assessment must document energy and capacity deficits, their duration, frequency, and timing, given the energy and demand forecasts in (b) and resource capabilities in (d) and (f). In addition, the assessment must document energy and capacity deficits for scenarios that involve higher and lower forecasts of energy and demand requirements; alternative load profiles; and alternative performance levels for existing resources to account for the effects of, among other things, extreme weather events; demand-side and distribution-side resources; electrification; and price response.
(h) A description of a wide range of plausibly cost-effective resources that could be acquired to satisfy the need for additional resources identified in the results of the resource adequacy assessment in (g), including those that may become available through transmission system investments that enhance access to broader markets for power resources. The description shall include the electricity generating or load serving capabilities and characteristics of the resources including the technology; size; service life or contract length; performance attributes; costs including estimates of potential fuel delivery infrastructure and transmission system interconnection and network upgrade costs, and tax credits; and environmental impacts including water and land use and emissions. The description must explain the method(s) and assumptions used to identify potential resources and define their costs, generation or load serving capabilities, and other attributes. The description may be in table form with accompanying explanatory text, as necessary.
(i) An evaluation of the full range of cost-effective means of combining the resources in (h) with the continued or discontinued operation of existing resources to satisfy the need for additional resources identified in (g) at the lowest long-term total cost. The evaluation must consider a broad range of future customer electricity demand and energy requirements and risks related to uncertainty about future loads, resource costs and performance, and changes in public policy and environmental regulations. The evaluation must be designed to allow for a comparison of the long-term total costs and risks of acquiring alternative resources, or combinations of resources, to address the need identified in (g). The evaluation must include at least two scenarios that rely on increased renewable energy resources and demand-side resources pursuant to 69-3-1204(2)(a)(vi), MCA. The plan must completely and thoroughly describe the results of the evaluation and document and justify the method(s) and assumptions used in the evaluation, including method(s) and assumptions used to determine cost-effectiveness and computer modeling and model validation procedures.
(j) For computer modeling used to perform the evaluation in (i):
(i) a thorough description of the basic design and purpose of the model;
(ii) a thorough description of the inputs and how the model uses inputs to produce outputs;
(iii) a thorough description of the decisions that were informed by the modeling and questions that were examined or answered by the modeling;
(iv) comprehensive descriptions of and data for modeling outputs and results;
(v) comprehensive, understandable explanations of the modeling results; and
(vi) a thorough description of the process by which a stakeholder can obtain inputs electronically in order to conduct alternative modeling.
(k) A description of the utility's plan for demand-side resource acquisition over the planning period, to the extent such resources are not directly included in the evaluation in (i). The description must include the utility's assessment of the cost-effective demand-side resource potential on its system, including the method(s) and assumptions used to determine cost-effectiveness.
(l) A description of the advisory committee required in 69-3-1208, MCA, a complete and thorough documentation of how the utility designated members and engaged the advisory committee to review and evaluate technical, economic, and policy issues related to the utility's system and the planning process, including all recommendations of the advisory committee and the utility's responses, and a copy of the work plan required in ARM 38.5.2023.
(m) A description of the public meetings conducted pursuant to 69-3-1205(1), MCA, including a summary of comments, concerns, or other input received and how the utility responded.
(n) A description of the comments received on the draft plan published pursuant to ARM 38.5.2023 and how they were considered, including a thorough description of modifications made to the draft plan in response to the comments or the reasons for making no modifications.
(o) A near-term action plan describing the steps the utility intends to take based on the results and conclusions of the planning process, including the evaluations in this rule. The action plan must describe the process the utility intends to use to acquire any resources or resource types, including the use of competitive solicitations.
(p) A description of how information about the mix of resources used to provide the demand and energy requirements of customers will be disseminated to them, including information about emissions and other environmental impacts, using itemized labeling, reporting, or other mechanisms as appropriate.
(2) Plans that do not satisfy the requirements of this rule and 69-3-1204(2)(b), MCA will be deemed deficient and returned to the utility pursuant to 69-3-1204(3), MCA.
History: 69-3-1204, MCA; IMP, 69-3-1204, 69-3-1205, 69-3-1206, 69-3-1207, 69-3-1208, 69-3-1209, MCA; NEW, 2023 MAR p. 21, Eff. 1/14/23.