It is a well-known fact energy conservation is the most cost-effective initiative to curbing load growth, or an increase in energy demand, and reducing the need for additional generation plants. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council develops a plan, updated every five years, to ensure the region’s power supply and acquire cost-effective energy efficiency. The process relies on broad public participation to inform the plan and build consensus on its recommendations.
According to the Council, energy conservation may meet the next 20 years of load growth in the region. This means projects such as lighting efficiency, premium efficiency electrical and combustion equipment, building controls, retro-commissioning, and hi-efficiency building envelope systems will provide approximately 3,800 – 4,500 average megawatts of energy savings over the next 20 years. These initiatives can be implemented cost effectively over the next 20 years, and will result in a net zero load growth for the region. Some new generation plants will need to be constructed after 2026 due to aging and failing coal generation plants. The Council also estimates about 300 average megawatts of energy will be developed through renewable generation.
North Coast Electric’s Energy Solutions Division is a key partner in the region’s conservation plan and is positioned well to assist in the conservation goals in the region. The Energy Solutions Team develops, designs, commissions, finances, and secures utility grants for electrical energy projects in the Pacific Northwest.
Written By: Brandon Adams, Energy Solutions Division Manager. Brandon is an expert in energy efficient solutions and energy savings programs.