Regional Planning

Planning for a Smarter Energy Future for the Northwest

Smart Grid planning is part of the broader topic of energy systems planning and is intimately connected to public policy. A key focus of Smart Grid Northwest is to support and develop both public policy and system planning to accelerate the research, demonstration and deployment of smart grid technologies – intelligently! That means making wise policy and investment decisions that provide economic benefits to grid operators, customers, the greater public and the research and commercialization interests in the region.

Power system planning is a regional endeavor and is very much influenced by the Bonneville Power Administration and its series of hydro assets and transmission lines. In addition to BPA, the NW Power and Conservation Council (as well as organizations like NEEA, Renewables NW, and others) provide this region with an integrated planning process that is more established and influential than in most other parts of the country. Smart Grid Northwest is committed to monitoring and, where appropriate, providing inputs to the regional planning that impacts (and is impacted by) smart grid technologies and opportunities.

To the extent that organization resources are able, key activities in the planning area include:

  • Participation in BPA and NWPCC planning activities
  • Participation in state energy policy and public utility commission smart grid investigations and planning
  • Participation (to the extent invited) in utility smart grid planning activities
  • Leading industry tracking and conversations about priorities for development

As with the overall Smart Grid Northwest mission, our participation in regional and local power planning activities is aimed at informing planners about what is possible while encouraging policies and plans which take advantage of the emerging smart grid capabilities the industry provides.