Integrated Resource Planning (Nov 04-05)

An integrated resource plan (IRP) isn’t just a plan; it’s an involved process with multiple evaluation criteria that helps to determine both short and long-term load growth. Through a broad analysis of supply-side and customer service options, an integrated resource plan comes into fruition. IRP professionals gather for peer support of this process, and to better understand the challenges facing electric and natural gas providers in Western North America. Designed as a mix of interactive roundtable discussions and information-rich presentations, forum participants address topics such as resource management, data analysis and modeling, and stakeholder engagement.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Aliza Seelig, Resource Planning, Forecasting & Analysis Manager, Seattle City Light

    • Program Location
    • Seattle City Light
    • 901 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1930
      Seattle, Washington 98124
    • Who Should Attend
    • Directors, senior leaders and key organizational contributors who manage the aspects and objectives of their utility’s integrated resource plan are invited to attend. Service companies and special interests should contact WEI about involvement.

  • Registration Options
  • Member: $399 USD

    Registration price increases $100 after October 14, 2019. Registration includes materials, lunch and dinner on Monday, breakfast on Tuesday, and refreshments throughout the program. Guest tickets are available for $100 and allow a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event. Guest registration includes all meals and receptions, and all program materials.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Due to contractual obligations, cancellations received 15 business days prior to the program will receive a full refund. Cancellations received 6 to 14 business days prior to the event will receive a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. No shows and last minute cancellations, 5 business days prior to the event or less, will be responsible for the full registration fee. Substitutions from your organization for the same event are always welcome.
  • Participation Policy
  • Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public.
  • For more information contact Kristen Paul, Program Manager at 971-334-4250.


Monday, November 4, 2019

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tour of the Seattle City Light's Denny Substation

The Denny Substation is one of a kind. It is unusual both in its design and in its location in a dense urban neighborhood. The final design represents two years of work by Seattle City Light and its design team, and reflects the input of area stakeholders and the guidance of the Seattle Design Commission. It meets the functional need of supporting and serving the expansion and growth of the area and the aspirational goal of being a community asset. Though the majority of the site will be utilized for substation operations, the design reflects community priorities such as open space and sustainability. The design includes over 44,000 square feet of open space, on-site solar power, a heat recovery system to provide 100% of the required heating for many facilities within the substation, and many other sustainability features. 

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Registration + Lunch

Catered lunch at Seattle City Light.

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Welcome + Introductions
Speaker(s): Debra Smith, CEO, Seattle City Light, Aliza Seelig, Resource Planning, Forecasting & Analysis Manager, Seattle City Light

Seattle City Light welcomes the group to Seattle and the IRP Forum.

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Opening Roundtable

Roundtable introducing all attendees and sharing the highest priority issues faced by companies.

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM


3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Loss of Load Probability Studies, Reliability, and Reserve Margins
Speaker(s): Matthew Elkins, Manager - Performance Analysis, Western Electricity Coordinating Council

​​​​​​​In this session, WECC will present and lead participants in a conversation to better understand probabilistic modeling, interdependence for reliability, and how loss of load probability studies should be influencing planning reserve margins or other elements of integrated resource planning. Likely questions and topics to be addressed include:
– Where does the WECC-defined reference planning reserve margin come from, and how should utility planning reserve margins compare?
– Best practices for including reliability as a metric for driving integrated resource planning, including WECC’s probabilistic methods as a possible pattern for analysis at the utility level.
– If WECC data suggests that a subregion can import 2000 MW over summer peak, how should that information influence each LSE’s understanding of how they could serve capacity needs?

4:00 PM - 4:15 PM


4:15 PM - 5:30 PM

The Evolving Relationship Between IRP and Distribution System Planning Teams
Speaker(s): Adam Diamant, Technical Executive, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

This session will discuss the driving forces pushing for more collaboration between IRP and distribution system planning teams and the best practices around departmental coordination that utilities are adopting. We will touch base on tools, models, process, and metrics utilities are utilizing to carry out and departmental coordination.

5:30 PM - 8:00 PM


Enjoy a WEI hosted dinner in downtown Seattle.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

7:30 AM - 8:00 AM


Catered breakfast at Seattle City Light.

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Scenario Planning
Speaker(s): Kenneth Ross, Manager, Integrated Resource Planning and DSM Reporting, FortisBC, Devin McGreal, Resource Planning Analyst II, Cascade Natural Gas Company

A gas and an electric utility will discuss their approach scenario planning. Topics potentially to be discussed include:
– How are your scenarios shaped by regulatory uncertainty?
– Gas vs Electric utility scenario development
– How are scenarios being quantified and what metrics developed from their creation?
– How are utilities identifying load drivers and incorporating them into scenarios?

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM


9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Carbon Studies
Speaker(s): Daniel Hopper, Principal Manager, IRP, Southern California Edison, Geoffrey Danker, Franchise, Fees & Planning Manager, Southern California Gas Company

We will dive into recent studies conducted developed or commissioned by utilities that investigate different pathways to reducing or eliminating carbon emissions.

10:15 AM - 10:30 AM


10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Open Roundtable
Facilitator(s): Aliza Seelig, Resource Planning, Forecasting & Analysis Manager, Seattle City Light

This time is set aside for additional conversation on topics earlier in the agenda or for attendees to bring up new topics for discussion. 

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Closing Comments and Planning for Spring 2020 Forum

Ask any remaining questions that were not yet discussed and benefit from the wealth of knowledge and experience of the group. Provide input about what content should be part of future WEI IRP programs.

Hotel + Travel

  • Renaissance Seattle Hotel
  • 515 Madison Street
  • Seattle, Washington 98104
  • Phone: 206-583-0300

  • Click here to make your reservation now.
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (800) 546-9184 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute (WEI) to receive a special rate of $185 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until October 14, 2019 or until the WEI room block is full.

Meet The Speakers

Debra Smith

Seattle City Light

Learn More

Debra Smith is the General Manager and CEO of Seattle City Light, one of the nation’s largest community-owned owned electric utilities. City Light serves more than 460,000 meters and 900,000 people across Seattle and parts of eight adjacent franchise cities.

Previously, Debra served as Central Lincoln PUD’s General Manager from July 2013 to October 2018. She brought 17 years of experience to that role from the Eugene Water and Electric Board, where she held a variety of positions, including Assistant General Manager.

Debra earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Arizona State University and is a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum of Oregon. She currently serves as chair of the Public Power Council and is on the board of the Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee.

Debra and her husband Dale have raised three sons and two daughters. They love City life, and have a home in Eugene, Oregon as well. The Smiths enjoy travel, time with friends and family and hanging out with their grandson Oliver.

Aliza Seelig

Seattle City Light

Resource Planning, Forecasting & Analysis Manager

Matthew Elkins

Western Electricity Coordinating Council

Manager - Performance Analysis

Daniel Hopper

Southern California Edison

Principal Manager, IRP

Geoffrey Danker

Southern California Gas Company

Franchise, Fees & Planning Manager

Adam Diamant

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Technical Executive

Kenneth Ross


Manager, Integrated Resource Planning and DSM Reporting

Devin McGreal

Cascade Natural Gas Company

Resource Planning Analyst II