Power and Renewables

Integrated Resource Plans: An Introduction to Future Capacity and Decommissions

byMarie Amice

Electric utility providers’ primary objective is to deliver reliable energy to customers and plan for the future. Utilities closely monitor energy demand and if they have capacity to meet future needs or not. Market conditions evolve — plants reach the end of their lifecycle, new policies get introduced, communities grow or decline. Emerging technologies, such as electric vehicles, surge, and energy security and natural disasters risk arise.

Utilities prepare for upcoming supply and demand shifts with short- and long-term plans that preserve reliability and strengthen infrastructure to supply sustainable energy for future generations. In the past 30 years, we have seen 200 gigawatts of wind and solar power come online.

What is an integrated resource plan?

An integrated resources plan (IRP) is a roadmap that large utilities develop to meet forecasted energy needs using supply and demand resources to ensure cost-efficient, reliable energy distribution to customers. Utilities use IRPs to identify the five, 10 or 20-plus year outlooks of plant retirements and how utilities plan to meet future demand and invest in new technologies.

Integrated resource plans also address market factors such as:

  • Growing and declining population.
  • Future energy demand.
  • Generation capacity.
  • Crisis response.
  • Energy security.

IRPs offer a long-term perspective into the future energy landscape, some with a view through 2050. However, they are lengthy documents and time-consuming to digest at scale, thus, it can be difficult to easily locate the valuable information.

Charts in Enverus PRISM.
Source: Enverus PRISM.

How can IRPs help?

Understanding which generation a utility plans to add, decommission or invest in is essential to a business development strategy. You can use IRPs as a pre-screening tool for entering a new market or understanding how the utility generation will change. When paired with power plants, LMP, parcels, suitable land analytics and grid infrastructure, you have a powerhouse of tools to confirm your market analysis.

Graph showing Capacity (MW) by utility, IRP technology type, sum, IRP scorecard
Source: Enverus PRISM.

Project developers can leverage IRPs to identify potential renewable energy partnerships with PRISM for Power & Renewables. Position yourself in advance and uncover utilities plan to meet demand and the various incentives and mandates to add more renewable energy and storage to the grid. With Enverus IRPs you can:

Browse through key IRP content

Source and analyze utilities’ near- and long-term plans to meet electricity demand and upcoming plant decommission. ​Easily visualize projects by added and decommissioned capacity.

Conduct a market potential analysis

Drill down and analyze ISO areas, companies and projects by stage. View the market players associated with projects, infrastructure and find available parcels for development.

Easily synthesize and compare data

Quickly review and compare multiple utility IRPs and turn policy data into an actionable business development strategy.

Ready to identify potential renewable energy partnerships and see IRPs in Enverus PRISM? Fill out the form below and request a demo.

Marie Amice

Marie Amice

Project Manager, Power & Renewables at Enverus

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