WSR 16-18-057
[Docket UE-161024—Filed September 1, 2016, 8:16 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: In 2006, the Washington utilities and transportation commission (commission) adopted rules requiring investor-owned electric (WAC 480-100-238) and natural gas (WAC 480-90-238) utilities to engage in long-term planning processes and file, every two years, an integrated resource plan (IRP) with the commission. The rules also describe the basic principles and resource alternatives that utilities should consider in their plans and set forth requirements for public participation. Also in 2006, the commission adopted rules relating to utility resource acquisition in chapter 480-107 WAC that are closely aligned with the IRP rules.
The commission's inquiry will evaluate:
1. Whether additional rule provisions are needed to implement IRP legislation in chapter 19.280 RCW;
2. Rule language to clarify how recent advances in the energy industry should be treated in the IRP;
3. How the resource acquisition rule in chapter 480-107 WAC can be made more effective to reduce the frequency of utility waiver requests for this rule; and
4. General process improvements to make the IRP review process more efficient.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 80.01.040, 80.04.160, and 19.280.040.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Shortly after commission's adoption of its IRP rules in 2006, the legislature codified similar IRP requirements in chapter 19.280 RCW. The legislature amended the IRP statute in the 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 legislative sessions, and the statute now includes provisions and legislative intent that are not explicitly addressed in the commission's rules. Furthermore, recent advances in the energy industry, such as the rapid growth of distributed generation and the development of energy storage technologies, have created modeling challenges for the IRP process that may be clarified through additional rule making. Finally, the commission's experience in administering the IRP and resource acquisition rules since 2006 has provided additional insight into opportunities for improving those processes and ensuring that utility planning and procurement processes meet the legislature's intent to develop "new, safe, clean, and reliable energy sources to meet demand in Washington for affordable and reliable electricity" (RCW 19.280.010).
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: RCW 19.280.060 charges the department of commerce with reviewing the IRPs of all investor-owned and consumer-owned utilities and compiling a report to the legislature regarding the overall adequacy of the state's electricity supply. Staff from the commission and the department have a track record of successfully collaborating on issues of intersecting responsibility and the commission anticipates that the department will be an active participant in this process.
Process for Developing New Rule: The commission employs a collaborative rule-making process that consists of stakeholder workshops, formal comments and draft rule reviews.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication. Interested persons may file comments with the Executive Director and Secretary, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, P.O. Box 47250, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504-7250, phone (360) 664-1174, fax (360) 586-1150, e-mail, or through the commission's web portal by 5:00 p.m., November 2, 2016. Please reference Docket UE-161024 when submitting comments. For specific information regarding opportunities for written comments and to ensure receipt of further information concerning this rule making.
Interested persons may also contact the assigned leads for this proceeding for additional information. The leads are Jeremy Twitchell, (360) 664-1138,, and Kathi Scanlan, (360) 664-1267,
TO CONTINUE RECEIVING NOTICES AND INFORMATION ABOUT THIS RULE MAKINGThe commission wants to ensure its mailings are sent to persons who are interested in the topic and want to receive that information. ANY PERSON WHO COMMENTS will continue to receive notices and information. If you do not submit comments but wish to remain on the mailing list for this rule making, please advise the records center by any one of the following methods: (1) Send a note with your name, address (or a copy of your mailing label), and telephone number referencing Docket UE-161024, and the words "Please keep me on the mailing list"; or (2) e-mail your name, address, and telephone number, referencing Docket UE-161024, and the words "Please keep me on the mailing list" to Please note that all information in the mailings will be accessible through the commission's internet web site at THOSE INTERESTED PERSONS WHO DO NOT RESPOND MAY NOT RECEIVE FURTHER MAILINGS OR INFORMATION ON THE RULE MAKING.
September 1, 2016
Steven V. King
Executive Director
and Secretary