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Generation Resource Planning

There are many functions Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) performs to ensure competitive rates to its customers. One of these functions is Resource Planning. Resource Planning is the process in which BTU builds power plants and/or enters long term agreements for energy off of other entities power plants.

Why does BTU need to do Resource Planning?

BTU does resource planning for two reasons. The first reason is that the load served by BTU is growing every year, so BTU needs to have a cost effective plan in place to economically serve this increasing electric load. Secondly, BTU’s current generating assets will not last forever. As the years go by technology improvements, more stringent environmental regulations, and normal wear and tear erode the economic viability of older power plants. The replacement of old generating assets with newer resources is a tedious process that can take many years. Resource planning allows for a smooth transition.

What impact does Resource Planning have on customers?

The assets BTU procures today will help determine customer rates for many years to come. For example, the development of Gibbons Creek generating station started in 1975, with the unit operational in 1983. And now 28 years later Gibbons Creek is still providing power to BTU customers.

What is the goal of Resource Planning?

BTU strives to maintain the lowest cost, lowest risk generating portfolio possible. This allows BTU’s customers to receive the lowest, most stable rates possible.

How is Resource Planning done at BTU?

Resource Planning is performed in conjunction with an internationally recognized utility consultant to create a power supply plan. This plan is generated from a risk-analytic perspective, using a stochastic resource planning model. This model takes into account items like projected electric load, fuel prices, power prices, emission prices, and costs associated with different types of power plants. The power supply plan typically models the next 10 to 20 years and BTU uses it as a road map to guide its procurement activities for generating assets. BTU staff periodically reviews, updates, and revises this plan and then revisits the plan with the consultant.

While Resource Planning is not the only process that BTU performs to ensure competitive rates to its customers now and in the future, it is without a doubt one of the most important.