IURC IRP Contemporary Issues Technical Conference is 10/23/14; Request for topics and speakers by 8/8/14

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 14, 2014  /   Posted in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Uncategorized  /   No Comments


The IRP Contemporary Issues Technical Conference is scheduled for Thursday, October 23, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., in Conference Room B, Indiana Government Center South.  Note that this is a different room from where the technical conference was held last fall.  Please provide suggested topics to be included on the agenda and possible speakers by Friday, August 8, 2014 – see info below.

As you are aware, the IRP rulemaking is currently on hold due to the rulemaking moratorium.  We have appreciated the efforts of Indiana utilities to comply with the draft Proposed Rule, even though it is not yet in effect.  To that end, Duke, I&M, IMPA, and WVPA filed IRPs in 2013 with Duke and I&M holding advisory stakeholder meetings that spring and summer.  Under the draft Proposed Rule IRPs are to be filed in 2014 by Hoosier Energy, IPL, NIPSCO, SIGECO/Vectren.  As a result, the three investor-owned utilities have been holding advisory stakeholder meetings in preparation for their filings this fall.

In keeping with the spirit of compliance with the draft Proposed Rule, and pursuant to Section 2.2 of that rule, the IURC and its staff will be hosting the second annual technical conference to help identify contemporary issues and encourage the identification and adoption of best practices.  The agenda of the technical conference will be set by the commission staff with input from interested parties and utilities.  We look forward to receiving your suggestions of specific contemporary issues for the agenda and possible speakers.

To refresh your memory, here is the list of speakers and a general description of their topic from last year’s Contemporary Issues meeting:

1.       Eric Hughes – Ventyx

Mr. Hughes will discuss production cost modeling and the different methods for dispatching the resources including examples of how each method works.  He will also briefly discuss resource optimization methodologies before discussing DSM modeling and problems with traditional DSM modeling as done by DSM planners/consultants and the resulting output data relative to the needs of a production costing/resource planning model.


2.       Ronald Whitfield, Ph.D. – Argonne National Laboratory

Dr. Whitfield discussed the treatment of risk and uncertainty in integrated resource planning.

3.       Jeremy Fisher, Ph.D. – Synapse Energy Economics

Dr. Fisher discussed a stakeholder’s perspective on effective IRP collaboration and execution of best practices, as well as mechanisms to anticipate and address stakeholder concerns.

4.       Ethan Rogers, CEM - American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)

Mr. Rogers discussed the inclusion of energy efficiency, the lowest cost energy resource, in resource planning which is an emerging practice that has the ability to reduce the amount of capital investment needed to guarantee sufficient capacity to meet future system requirements. Mr. Rogers also discussed existing practices in different parts of the country and how they might be of value in Indiana.


The presentations for the 2013 Contemporary Issues meeting can be found on the Electricity Division portion of the Commission’s website at:http://www.in.gov/iurc/2773.htm


A good place for potential agenda ideas might be the Electricity Division Director Final Report on the four 2013 IRPs prepared pursuant to the draft IRP rule.  The report can also be found on the Commission website at: http://www.in.gov/iurc/2630.htm


To jump start the discussion of potential agenda items, staff puts forward the following for your consideration:


1.       Given the reliability, resiliency, and economic ramifications, can energy efficiency, demand response, and various other types of customer-owned resources be evaluated in a manner that is comparable to conventional generating resources?  How can changes due to energy efficiency be distinguished from increased appliance / end-use standards, building codes, and reduced waste?  How can persistence of energy efficiency be better assessed?

2.       Given the potential ramifications of environmental regulations, the forecast for relatively low gas prices, the age of the existing generating fleet, what are the best practices for evaluating / incorporating reliability, resilience, and economic risks in Integrated Resource Planning for  both the short and longer-term?  To what extent (or weight) should high value but low probability events such as repetitions of Super Storm Sandy, the Polar Vortex, a protracted heat wave & drought over a broad region be considered in risk analysis?

3.       A discussion of the next generation of state-of-the-art tools and processes used in load forecasting (including forecasting DSM / DR and customer-owned resources) and other aspects of long-term resource planning to better address the implications of potentially significant changes in the Nation’s resource mix. What load forecasting method(s) are likely to foster a more in-depth understanding of the important drivers of a load forecast? What information is needed to support new forecasting and planning processes and tools?  With the increasing deployment of smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure, should this spur development of better tools and processes?  Are there opportunities for Indiana utilities to work together to construct and maintain a more comprehensive load and resource database and to do so at a lower cost with greater robustness / reliability / confidence?


The next IRP Contemporary Issues technical conference is scheduled for Thursday, October 23, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., in Conference Room B, Indiana Government Center South.  Note that this is a different room from where the technical conference was held last fall.


Please provide suggested topics to be included on the agenda and possible speakers by Friday, August 8, 2014.  If you think one or more of the topics listed above has merit, please recommend a speaker.  The suggestions can be sent by regular mail or e-mail to:


Bradley Borum

Director of Electricity

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

101 West Washington Street, Suite 1500 E.

Indianapolis, IN 46204-3407


e-mail: bborum@urc.in.gov


Thank you for your interest and continued participation!



Beth Krogel Roads

General Counsel

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

101 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 East

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Direct line: (317) 232-2092

Fax #: (317) 232-6758

Email: bkroads@urc.in.gov

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