[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 179 (Tuesday, September 16, 1997)]
[Page 48682]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-23943]



Northwest Conservation and Electronic Power Plan Draft Amendments 
and Addendum

AGENCY: Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Conservation Planning 
Council (Northwest Power Planning Council, Council).

ACTION: Notice of availability of the Addendum to the Draft Fourth 
Northwest Conservation and Electric Power Plan.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and 
Conservation Act of 1980 (16 U.S.C. 839, et seq.) (Act), in April 1983 
the Council adopted a regional electric power plan, the Northwest 
Conservation and Electric Power Plan (plan). The plan was completely 
amended in 1986. Although the Act requires the Council to review the 
plan at least every five years, the Council has revised certain parts 
of the plan more often, to respond to ongoing changes in the regional 
energy picture and to incorporate the most recent technology and 
analysis. For example, the Council updated certain technical data in a 
1989 Supplement to the 1986 Power Plan. In April 1991, the Council 
adopted another complete amendment of the plan. In March 1996, the 
Council released for public comment the Draft Fourth Power Plan.
    In the face of nationwide initiatives for restructuring the 
electrical industry, the governors of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and 
Washington convened a Comprehensive Review of the Northwest Energy 
System in late 1995. The Council recognized that many of the issues to 
be considered in its plan would also be taken up by the Comprehensive 
Review and therefore decided to wait until the review had issued its 
final report before completing the plan amendment process.
    The Addendum to the Draft Fourth Northwest Power Plan has two 
principal objectives. First, it reviews important developments since 
the release of the draft power plan. These developments include what 
has happened with respect to: Generation and conservation resources; 
gas and electricity markets; electricity loads; institutions; and 
policies. The more important developments include the creation of new 
institutions in response to the increasingly competitive utility 
industry and the continued evolution of policies at the state and 
federal levels designed to facilitate competitive electricity markets.
    The second purpose of the Addendum is to examine the relationships 
between the analysis contained in the draft power plan and the 
recommendations from the Comprehensive Review. In several instances, 
the Addendum suggests approaches that would help move the Northwest 
from the usually general nature of the Comprehensive Review's 
recommendations to the specifics that will have to be addressed by 
legislatures, and state and local regulators.
    During the next several months, hearings in each of the four 
Northwest states will be scheduled, as required by the Act. The public 
is invited to comment on both the Draft Fourth Northwest Power Plan and 
the Addendum. Note that the text of the Draft Fourth Power Plan remains 
unchanged. It is the Addendum that contains revisions that reflect the 
recommendations of the Comprehensive Review.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The electricity industry nationwide is 
undergoing a radical restructuring. To ensure that the four Northwest 
states have a voice in how this restructuring affects the region, in 
late 1995 the governors of these states convened a ``Comprehensive 
Review of the Northwest Energy System.'' The steering committee of the 
review presided over 30 day-long meetings and almost 400 people were 
involved in more than 100 meetings of various work groups. The steering 
committee took public comment at 10 hearings on its draft report and 
presented its final recommendations to the four governors in December 
    To accommodate this regional review, the Council's draft plan took 
a different approach from that of earlier plans. The 1991 Power Plan, 
for example, had as its theme: ``A Time for Action.'' In contrast, this 
draft plan focuses on ``Northwest Power In Transition: Issues and 
Opportunities.'' The 1996 draft set out few policy determinations or 
recommended actions. Instead, it was designated to serve as a reference 
for the regional review. The goal of the draft plan reflected that of 
the governors in convening the regional review: To develop, through a 
public process, recommendations for changes in the institutional 
structure of the region's electric utility industry.
    This draft plan and Addendum meet the requirements of the Northwest 
Power Act, which specifies what components the plan is to contain. The 
Act requires the plan to include a number of elements, including, but 
not limited to: An energy conservation program; a recommendation for 
research and development; a methodology for determining quantifiable 
environmental costs and benefits; a 20-year demand forecast; a forecast 
of power resources that the Bonneville Power Administration will need 
to meet its obligations; an analysis of reserve and reserve reliability 
requirements; and a surcharge methodology. The plan also includes the 
Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, developed 
pursuant to other procedural requirements under the Act.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact the Council's Central Office if 
you would like a copy of the Draft Fourth Northwest Power Plan, 
Document Number 96-5, and/or the Addendum, Document Number 97-7. The 
Council's address is 851 SW. 6th Avenue, Suite 1100, Portland, Oregon 
97204. The Council's telephone numbers are: (503) 222-5161 and (toll 
free) (800) 222-3355. The Council's FAX number is (503) 795-3370. 
Copies of each document can also be obtained from the Council's 
internet site: www.nwppc.org.
    When submitting comments, please note prominently that you are 
commenting on Council Document Number 96-5 for the Draft Fourth 
Northwest Power Plan or Council Document Number 97-7 for the Addendum. 
Comments may be submitted by mail, by facsimile transmission (FAX), or 
by electronic mail at: [email protected]. The Council will accept 
written comments through close of business on Friday, October 31, 1997. 
The Council may hold consultations after than date, as necessary.
Stephen L. Crow,
Executive Director.
[FR Doc. 97-23943 Filed 9-15-97; 8:45 am]