Revision to the Final Principles of Integrated Resource Planning for Use in Resource Acquisition and Transmission Planning, 38146-38148 [2011-16308]

Download as PDF 38146 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 125 / Wednesday, June 29, 2011 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Revision to the Final Principles of Integrated Resource Planning for Use in Resource Acquisition and Transmission Planning Western Area Power Administration, DOE. ACTION: Notice; request for comment. AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration (Western) published proposed Principles for Integrated Resource planning (IRP) for use in its acquisition of resources (supply-side and demand-side) and transmission planning in the Federal Register on December 6, 1994. After considering public comments on the proposed principles, Western adopted the Final Principles of IRP under which projectspecific resource acquisition and transmission planning principles would be developed. The Final Principles of IRP were published in the Federal Register on June 9, 1995, and became effective on July 10, 1995. Through this notice, Western is requesting comments on the proposed Western-wide evaluation criteria and procedures that Western will use for future resource acquisitions instead of the current principle, which calls for developing project-by-project criteria. Western is also requesting comments on its proposal to eliminate the transmission planning principles set forth in the Final Principles of IRP. DATES: Western must receive written comments on the proposed revision to the Final Principles of IRP at the address below by 4 p.m., MDT, on July 29, 2011. Western reserves the right not to consider any comments received after the prescribed date and time. Western will hold a public meeting to solicit input on Western’s revision to the Final Principles of IRP for Use in Resource Acquisition and Transmission Planning. The meeting will address the proposed evaluation criteria and procedures Western will use for longterm resource acquisition and the elimination of the transmission planning principles as set forth in the Final Principles of IRP. The public meeting will be held on: July 21, 2011, 8:30 a.m., MDT, in Lakewood, Colorado. The meeting will also be available by conference call and webcast during that time. ADDRESSES: Submit written comments regarding this proposed Revision to the Final Principles of IRP to Ms. Julia L. Kyriss, Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) Manager, CRSP Management mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:48 Jun 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 Center, 150 East Social Hall Avenue, Suite 300, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111– 1580. Comments may also be e-mailed to finalprinciples@wapa.gov or faxed to (801) 524–5017. The public meeting location will be the Western Area Power Administration, Corporate Services Office, 12155 West Alameda Parkway, Lakewood, Colorado. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Paula Fronk, CRSP Management Center, Western Area Power Administration, 150 East Social Hall Avenue, Suite 300, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111–1580, telephone (801) 524–6383, e-mail fronk@wapa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A public process to develop principles of IRP for Western resource acquisition and transmission planning began with publication of draft principles of IRP in the Federal Register on December 6, 1994 (59 FR 62724). A public information and comment forum was held in Denver, Colorado, on January 12, 1995, to explain the proposed principles and receive comments on the proposal. Written comments on the proposal were received through March 7, 1995. The Final Principles of IRP were published in the Federal Registeron June 9, 1995 (60 FR 30533). The Final Principles of IRP have served as the policy under which Western develops principles for acquiring project-specific, long-term resources and for public participation in certain Western projects to increase transmission capability. Western’s current Final Principles of IRP are available at: http://www.wapa.gov/ powerm/pmirpwestern.htm. Western believes it is necessary to define further the process for acquiring project-specific, long-term resources by establishing evaluation criteria to be used when considering the purchase of new generation resources and eliminating the principles set forth in the Final Principles of IRP associated with transmission planning. Western’s historic resource acquisitions have been primarily project-specific, short-term purchases of supplemental resources to firm variable hydropower generation. For long-term resource acquisition, Western believes developing evaluation criteria and procedures that will be used for future resource acquisition represents prudent planning. The ability to make long-term purchases expeditiously when the need arises, whether due to the unavailability of generation from Federal hydropower facilities or lost generation attributable to drought conditions, this provides Western greater flexibility in securing PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 adequate and reliable power to meet obligations to its customers. The criteria Western is proposing are set forth in more detail later in this notice. For transmission planning, Western believes that existing stakeholder involvement in its planning efforts used by regional and sub-regional planning entities and its Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) render the requirement set forth in the Final Principles of IRP redundant and unnecessary. The Final Principles of IRP applicable to Western’s transmission planning principles do not deal with new generation resources, but apply only to new or upgraded transmission facilities over a defined threshold. Through the planning efforts outlined below, Western will meet the intent of the Final Principles of IRP and its other planning obligations. Since finalizing the Final Principles of IRP for transmission planning in 1995, the transmission industry has undergone significant change. Several of the original comments Western received during the public process to develop the Final Principles of IRP requested that Western avoid the duplication of efforts related to transmission planning. At the time the Final Principles of IRP were adopted, however, Western did not believe the procedures for public participation in transmission planning were duplicative. In light of the current vigorous involvement of stakeholders in regional and sub-regional transmission planning entities and the detailed transmission planning process set forth in Western’s OATT, as described below, Western now believes that those original comments have merit, and the transmission planning principles established under the Final Principles of IRP can be eliminated. Specifically, Western is actively involved in several transmission planning efforts throughout its various regions. For example, Western is currently participating in WestConnect, Southwest Area Subregional Planning Transmission Group, Colorado LongRange Transmission Planning Group, California Transmission Planning Group, Sierra Subregional Planning Group, and Mid-Continent Area Power Pool. These groups either did not exist or were in their infancies when the transmission planning principles, set forth in the Final Principles of IRP, were completed. In the ensuing 15 years, these planning entities have emerged to provide stakeholders the opportunity to become involved in regional integrated transmission planning, including projects that would result in increasing Western’s transmission capacity. E:\FR\FM\29JNN1.SGM 29JNN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 125 / Wednesday, June 29, 2011 / Notices Moreover, as of December 2009, Western’s OATT incorporated a detailed transmission planning process based upon three core objectives: (1) Maintaining reliable electric service, (2) improving the efficiency of electric system operations, including the provision of open and nondiscriminatory access to its transmission facilities, and (3) identifying and promoting new investments in transmission infrastructure in a coordinated, open and transparent, and participatory manner. The transmission planning process that is now a part of Western’s OATT aids timely, coordinated, and transparent information sharing that fosters the development of electric infrastructure, maintains reliability, and meets network load growth. The process includes open planning meetings that allow anyone, including but not limited to, network and point-to-point transmission customers, interconnected neighbors, sponsors of transmission, generation and demand-side management developers, and other stakeholders to participate in all stages of development of Western’s transmission plan. Lastly, Western engages in annual 5or 10-year transmission planning activities and, in some regions, joint planning activities with its customers. These efforts are meant to identify and prioritize long-term transmission system additions, betterments, and replacements to meet customers’ needs and to ensure the reliability of the bulk electric system. Scope: The proposed revised Final Principles of IRP will apply specifically to resource acquisitions involving a commitment to make recurring purchases over a period longer than 5 years. Final Principles of IRP do not apply to purchases made for 5 years or less and the Lease of Power Privilege under Reclamation Law (Town Sites and Power Development Act of 1906 (43 U.S.C. 522) and Reclamation Project Act of 1939 (43 U.S.C. 485h(c)). Western does not propose to change these approaches through this proposal. Western is proposing to define further the criteria and procedures used in acquiring resources for terms of longer than 5 years under the Final Principles of IRP as outlined in Resource Acquisition Principles 2 and 3. Western is not proposing any changes to Resource Acquisition Principles 1, 4, 5, and 6. Western is also proposing to eliminate the transmission planning principles set forth in the Final Principles of IRP. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:48 Jun 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 Request for Public Comment (A.) Western Is Requesting Public Comment on the Following Proposed Procedures and Evaluation Criteria for Long-Term Resource Acquisition Which, if Adopted, Would Be Included in a Revision to the Existing Final Principles of IRP 1. The Western office responsible for marketing power from a specific project will identify the need for a long-term resource acquisition. The need could be due to occurrences such as, but not limited to, the unavailability of generation from Federal hydropower facilities initially included in an existing marketing plan, generation lost due to drought conditions impacting water availability, and modifications in normal reservoir operations. 2. Once the resource need is identified and the initial amount(s) are determined, the project-specific customers involved will be notified and offered an opportunity to discuss this planned acquisition. Western will pursue widespread publication for the resource acquisition solicitation, which may include posting on Web sites, publishing in the Federal Register or in newsletters, or using other media to reach potential suppliers. 3. The solicitation will request potential suppliers to submit proposals that address the evaluation criteria described below, to the extent such criteria apply. 4. To the extent applicable, Western will screen the proposals received that best meet the criteria set forth below. 5. When evaluating potential resource acquisitions under the Final Principles of IRP, the following evaluation criteria will be considered: a. Cost—the amount paid to acquire resources, such as purchased power, fuel, plant and equipment, or labor services. b. Dependability—a supplier’s ability to provide power as specified in a purchase power solicitation. A supplier is considered dependable when it delivers to the contracted location, in the contracted amount, at the contracted time, and in the contracted manner. c. Dispatchability—the ability of a utility to schedule and control, directly or indirectly, manually or automatically, the resources under consideration. d. Diversity—an acceptable level of both the mix of generation resources in the region’s overall blend of power provided to a customer and the mix of generation sources of the supplier. e. Environmental impact—the degree to which the resource has an impact on the human environment. Impacts vary according to: (1) The type of resource PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 38147 purchased (supply-side, demand-side, or renewable), (2) the length of the purchase, (3) the geographical area from which the power is purchased, and (4) the transmission path(s) used to get to the contracted location. f. Indian Preference—Under section 2602(d) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (as amended by the Energy Policy Act of 2005), in purchasing any energy product or by-product, a Federal agency or department may give preference to an energy and resource production enterprise, partnership, consortium, corporation, or other type of business organization the majority of the interest in which is owned and controlled by one or more Indian Tribes. In carrying out this subsection, a Federal agency or department will not pay more than the prevailing market price for an energy product or by-product or obtain less than prevailing market terms and conditions. g. Renewable Energy Resource—the electric energy that is generated from solar, wind, biomass, land-fill gas, ocean (including tidal, wave, current, and thermal), geothermal, municipal solid waste, or new hydroelectric generation capacity achieved from increased efficiency or additions of new capacity at an existing hydroelectric project and is physically delivered to the grid. h. Risk—the potential impact of market uncertainties, including a supplier’s financial condition and creditworthiness. A supplier shall be required to demonstrate adequate financial and physical resources to provide capacity and energy to meet Western’s requirements during the term of the contract. i. Transmission Availability—the ability to move or transfer electric energy over an interconnected group of lines between points of supply and points of delivery to Western’s system. j. Transmission Losses—the reduction in available electricity after being transmitted over transmission lines and/ or facilities from the generation source to the contracted delivery location. (B.) Western Is Requesting Public Comment on Its Proposal To Eliminate the Transmission Planning Principles From the Existing Final Principles of IRP Western is proposing to eliminate the existing transmission planning principles contained in the Final Principles of IRP published in the Federal Register on June 9, 1995 (60 FR 30533). Western will accomplish the original objectives of the transmission planning principles through use of existing planning groups and its OATT as discussed in more detail above. E:\FR\FM\29JNN1.SGM 29JNN1 38148 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 125 / Wednesday, June 29, 2011 / Notices PROCEDURES REQUIREMENTS Environmental Evaluation Western’s proposal to better define evaluation criteria and procedures for resource acquisition is an administrative action covered by an existing NEPA categorical exclusion. A categorical exclusion has been prepared and executed for this process. Once projectspecific actions are identified under the Final Principles of IRP and the final evaluation criteria developed through the process defined, those actions would be individually subject to the appropriate level of NEPA review. Factors affecting the level of NEPA review include whether the projectspecific action would integrate a new generation resource, precipitate changes to the transmission system, or change the normal operating limits of existing generation resources. Determination under Executive Order 12866 Western has an exemption from centralized regulatory review under Executive Order 12866; accordingly, no clearance of this notice by the Office of Management and Budget is required. Dated: June 22, 2011. Timothy J. Meeks, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2011–16308 Filed 6–28–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–OPA–2010–0987, FRL–9426–4] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Implementation of the Oil Pollution Act Facility Response Plan Requirements (Renewal) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that an Information Collection Request (ICR) has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. This is a request to renew an existing approved collection. The ICR, which is abstracted below, describes the nature of the information collection and its estimated burden and cost. DATES: Additional comments may be submitted on or before July 29, 2011. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:48 Jun 28, 2011 Jkt 223001 Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OPA–2010–0987, to (1) EPA, either online using http://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), or by e-mail to rcra-docket@epa.gov, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460; and (2) OMB, by mail to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attention: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: J. Troy Swackhammer, Office of Emergency Management, Mail Code 5104A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564–1966; fax number: (202) 564–2625; e-mail address: swackhammer.j-troy@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: EPA has submitted the following ICR to OMB for review and approval according to the procedures prescribed in 5 CFR 1320.12. On February 3, 2011 (76 FR 6130), EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received no comments. Any additional comments on this ICR should be submitted to EPA and OMB within 30 days of this notice. EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID No EPA– HQ–OPA–2010–0987, which is available for online viewing at www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA/ DC Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Reading Room is (202) 566–1744, and the telephone number for the RCRA Docket is (202) 566–0270. Use EPA’s electronic docket and comment system at www.regulations.gov, to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the docket, and to access those documents in the docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, select ‘‘docket search,’’ then key in the docket ID number identified above. Please note that EPA’s policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing at www.regulations.gov as EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 copyrighted material, confidential business information (CBI), or other information whose public disclosure is restricted by statute. For further information about the electronic docket, go to www.regulations.gov. Title: Implementation of the Oil Pollution Act Facility Response Plan Requirements (Renewal). ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 1630.10, OMB Control No. 2050–0135. ICR Status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2011. Under OMB regulations, the Agency may continue to conduct or sponsor the collection of information while this submission is pending at OMB. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA’s regulations in Title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal Register when approved, are listed in 40 CFR Part 9, are displayed either by publication in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, such as on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable. The display of OMB control numbers in certain EPA regulations is consolidated in 40 CFR Part 9. Abstract: Under section 311(j)(5) of the Clean Water Act, as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and in regulation codified at 40 CFR 112.20 and 112.21, EPA requires that owners or operators of facilities storing oil create and maintain updated Facility Response Plans (FRP) in order to identify the necessary resources to respond to an oil spill in a timely manner. If implemented effectively, the FRP will reduce the impact and severity of oil spills and may prevent spills through the identification of risks at the facility. Although the owner or operator is the primary data user, EPA also uses the data in certain situations to ensure that facilities comply with the regulation and to help allocate response resources. State and local governments may use the data, which are not generally available elsewhere and can greatly assist local emergency preparedness planning efforts. EPA reviews all submitted FRPs and must approve FRPs for those facilities whose discharges may cause significant and substantial harm to the environment in order to ensure that facilities believed to pose the highest risk have planned for adequate resources and procedures to respond to a spill. Burden Statement: The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to average 1 hour per response for the Partner Registration Form, 34.5 hours per response for the Partner Annual E:\FR\FM\29JNN1.SGM 29JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 125 (Wednesday, June 29, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 38146-38148]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-16308]



[[Page 38146]]

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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration


Revision to the Final Principles of Integrated Resource Planning 
for Use in Resource Acquisition and Transmission Planning

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION: Notice; request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Western Area Power Administration (Western) published proposed 
Principles for Integrated Resource planning (IRP) for use in its 
acquisition of resources (supply-side and demand-side) and transmission 
planning in the Federal Register on December 6, 1994. After considering 
public comments on the proposed principles, Western adopted the Final 
Principles of IRP under which project-specific resource acquisition and 
transmission planning principles would be developed. The Final 
Principles of IRP were published in the Federal Register on June 9, 
1995, and became effective on July 10, 1995.
    Through this notice, Western is requesting comments on the proposed 
Western-wide evaluation criteria and procedures that Western will use 
for future resource acquisitions instead of the current principle, 
which calls for developing project-by-project criteria. Western is also 
requesting comments on its proposal to eliminate the transmission 
planning principles set forth in the Final Principles of IRP.

DATES: Western must receive written comments on the proposed revision 
to the Final Principles of IRP at the address below by 4 p.m., MDT, on 
July 29, 2011. Western reserves the right not to consider any comments 
received after the prescribed date and time.
    Western will hold a public meeting to solicit input on Western's 
revision to the Final Principles of IRP for Use in Resource Acquisition 
and Transmission Planning. The meeting will address the proposed 
evaluation criteria and procedures Western will use for long-term 
resource acquisition and the elimination of the transmission planning 
principles as set forth in the Final Principles of IRP. The public 
meeting will be held on: July 21, 2011, 8:30 a.m., MDT, in Lakewood, 
Colorado. The meeting will also be available by conference call and 
webcast during that time.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments regarding this proposed Revision to 
the Final Principles of IRP to Ms. Julia L. Kyriss, Colorado River 
Storage Project (CRSP) Manager, CRSP Management Center, 150 East Social 
Hall Avenue, Suite 300, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111-1580. Comments may 
also be e-mailed to finalprinciples@wapa.gov or faxed to (801) 524-
5017.
    The public meeting location will be the Western Area Power 
Administration, Corporate Services Office, 12155 West Alameda Parkway, 
Lakewood, Colorado.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Paula Fronk, CRSP Management 
Center, Western Area Power Administration, 150 East Social Hall Avenue, 
Suite 300, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111-1580, telephone (801) 524-6383, 
e-mail fronk@wapa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A public process to develop principles of 
IRP for Western resource acquisition and transmission planning began 
with publication of draft principles of IRP in the Federal Register on 
December 6, 1994 (59 FR 62724). A public information and comment forum 
was held in Denver, Colorado, on January 12, 1995, to explain the 
proposed principles and receive comments on the proposal. Written 
comments on the proposal were received through March 7, 1995. The Final 
Principles of IRP were published in the Federal Registeron June 9, 1995 
(60 FR 30533). The Final Principles of IRP have served as the policy 
under which Western develops principles for acquiring project-specific, 
long-term resources and for public participation in certain Western 
projects to increase transmission capability. Western's current Final 
Principles of IRP are available at:  http://www.wapa.gov/powerm/pmirpwestern.htm.
    Western believes it is necessary to define further the process for 
acquiring project-specific, long-term resources by establishing 
evaluation criteria to be used when considering the purchase of new 
generation resources and eliminating the principles set forth in the 
Final Principles of IRP associated with transmission planning.
    Western's historic resource acquisitions have been primarily 
project-specific, short-term purchases of supplemental resources to 
firm variable hydropower generation. For long-term resource 
acquisition, Western believes developing evaluation criteria and 
procedures that will be used for future resource acquisition represents 
prudent planning. The ability to make long-term purchases expeditiously 
when the need arises, whether due to the unavailability of generation 
from Federal hydropower facilities or lost generation attributable to 
drought conditions, this provides Western greater flexibility in 
securing adequate and reliable power to meet obligations to its 
customers. The criteria Western is proposing are set forth in more 
detail later in this notice.
    For transmission planning, Western believes that existing 
stakeholder involvement in its planning efforts used by regional and 
sub-regional planning entities and its Open Access Transmission Tariff 
(OATT) render the requirement set forth in the Final Principles of IRP 
redundant and unnecessary. The Final Principles of IRP applicable to 
Western's transmission planning principles do not deal with new 
generation resources, but apply only to new or upgraded transmission 
facilities over a defined threshold. Through the planning efforts 
outlined below, Western will meet the intent of the Final Principles of 
IRP and its other planning obligations.
    Since finalizing the Final Principles of IRP for transmission 
planning in 1995, the transmission industry has undergone significant 
change. Several of the original comments Western received during the 
public process to develop the Final Principles of IRP requested that 
Western avoid the duplication of efforts related to transmission 
planning. At the time the Final Principles of IRP were adopted, 
however, Western did not believe the procedures for public 
participation in transmission planning were duplicative. In light of 
the current vigorous involvement of stakeholders in regional and sub-
regional transmission planning entities and the detailed transmission 
planning process set forth in Western's OATT, as described below, 
Western now believes that those original comments have merit, and the 
transmission planning principles established under the Final Principles 
of IRP can be eliminated.
    Specifically, Western is actively involved in several transmission 
planning efforts throughout its various regions. For example, Western 
is currently participating in WestConnect, Southwest Area Subregional 
Planning Transmission Group, Colorado Long-Range Transmission Planning 
Group, California Transmission Planning Group, Sierra Subregional 
Planning Group, and Mid-Continent Area Power Pool. These groups either 
did not exist or were in their infancies when the transmission planning 
principles, set forth in the Final Principles of IRP, were completed. 
In the ensuing 15 years, these planning entities have emerged to 
provide stakeholders the opportunity to become involved in regional 
integrated transmission planning, including projects that would result 
in increasing Western's transmission capacity.

[[Page 38147]]

    Moreover, as of December 2009, Western's OATT incorporated a 
detailed transmission planning process based upon three core 
objectives: (1) Maintaining reliable electric service, (2) improving 
the efficiency of electric system operations, including the provision 
of open and non-discriminatory access to its transmission facilities, 
and (3) identifying and promoting new investments in transmission 
infrastructure in a coordinated, open and transparent, and 
participatory manner. The transmission planning process that is now a 
part of Western's OATT aids timely, coordinated, and transparent 
information sharing that fosters the development of electric 
infrastructure, maintains reliability, and meets network load growth. 
The process includes open planning meetings that allow anyone, 
including but not limited to, network and point-to-point transmission 
customers, interconnected neighbors, sponsors of transmission, 
generation and demand-side management developers, and other 
stakeholders to participate in all stages of development of Western's 
transmission plan.
    Lastly, Western engages in annual 5- or 10-year transmission 
planning activities and, in some regions, joint planning activities 
with its customers. These efforts are meant to identify and prioritize 
long-term transmission system additions, betterments, and replacements 
to meet customers' needs and to ensure the reliability of the bulk 
electric system.
    Scope: The proposed revised Final Principles of IRP will apply 
specifically to resource acquisitions involving a commitment to make 
recurring purchases over a period longer than 5 years. Final Principles 
of IRP do not apply to purchases made for 5 years or less and the Lease 
of Power Privilege under Reclamation Law (Town Sites and Power 
Development Act of 1906 (43 U.S.C. 522) and Reclamation Project Act of 
1939 (43 U.S.C. 485h(c)). Western does not propose to change these 
approaches through this proposal. Western is proposing to define 
further the criteria and procedures used in acquiring resources for 
terms of longer than 5 years under the Final Principles of IRP as 
outlined in Resource Acquisition Principles 2 and 3. Western is not 
proposing any changes to Resource Acquisition Principles 1, 4, 5, and 
6. Western is also proposing to eliminate the transmission planning 
principles set forth in the Final Principles of IRP.

Request for Public Comment

(A.) Western Is Requesting Public Comment on the Following Proposed 
Procedures and Evaluation Criteria for Long-Term Resource Acquisition 
Which, if Adopted, Would Be Included in a Revision to the Existing 
Final Principles of IRP

    1. The Western office responsible for marketing power from a 
specific project will identify the need for a long-term resource 
acquisition. The need could be due to occurrences such as, but not 
limited to, the unavailability of generation from Federal hydropower 
facilities initially included in an existing marketing plan, generation 
lost due to drought conditions impacting water availability, and 
modifications in normal reservoir operations.
    2. Once the resource need is identified and the initial amount(s) 
are determined, the project-specific customers involved will be 
notified and offered an opportunity to discuss this planned 
acquisition. Western will pursue widespread publication for the 
resource acquisition solicitation, which may include posting on Web 
sites, publishing in the Federal Register or in newsletters, or using 
other media to reach potential suppliers.
    3. The solicitation will request potential suppliers to submit 
proposals that address the evaluation criteria described below, to the 
extent such criteria apply.
    4. To the extent applicable, Western will screen the proposals 
received that best meet the criteria set forth below.
    5. When evaluating potential resource acquisitions under the Final 
Principles of IRP, the following evaluation criteria will be 
considered:
    a. Cost--the amount paid to acquire resources, such as purchased 
power, fuel, plant and equipment, or labor services.
    b. Dependability--a supplier's ability to provide power as 
specified in a purchase power solicitation. A supplier is considered 
dependable when it delivers to the contracted location, in the 
contracted amount, at the contracted time, and in the contracted 
manner.
    c. Dispatchability--the ability of a utility to schedule and 
control, directly or indirectly, manually or automatically, the 
resources under consideration.
    d. Diversity--an acceptable level of both the mix of generation 
resources in the region's overall blend of power provided to a customer 
and the mix of generation sources of the supplier.
    e. Environmental impact--the degree to which the resource has an 
impact on the human environment. Impacts vary according to: (1) The 
type of resource purchased (supply-side, demand-side, or renewable), 
(2) the length of the purchase, (3) the geographical area from which 
the power is purchased, and (4) the transmission path(s) used to get to 
the contracted location.
    f. Indian Preference--Under section 2602(d) of the Energy Policy 
Act of 1992 (as amended by the Energy Policy Act of 2005), in 
purchasing any energy product or by-product, a Federal agency or 
department may give preference to an energy and resource production 
enterprise, partnership, consortium, corporation, or other type of 
business organization the majority of the interest in which is owned 
and controlled by one or more Indian Tribes. In carrying out this 
subsection, a Federal agency or department will not pay more than the 
prevailing market price for an energy product or by-product or obtain 
less than prevailing market terms and conditions.
    g. Renewable Energy Resource--the electric energy that is generated 
from solar, wind, biomass, land-fill gas, ocean (including tidal, wave, 
current, and thermal), geothermal, municipal solid waste, or new 
hydroelectric generation capacity achieved from increased efficiency or 
additions of new capacity at an existing hydroelectric project and is 
physically delivered to the grid.
    h. Risk--the potential impact of market uncertainties, including a 
supplier's financial condition and creditworthiness. A supplier shall 
be required to demonstrate adequate financial and physical resources to 
provide capacity and energy to meet Western's requirements during the 
term of the contract.
    i. Transmission Availability--the ability to move or transfer 
electric energy over an interconnected group of lines between points of 
supply and points of delivery to Western's system.
    j. Transmission Losses--the reduction in available electricity 
after being transmitted over transmission lines and/or facilities from 
the generation source to the contracted delivery location.

(B.) Western Is Requesting Public Comment on Its Proposal To Eliminate 
the Transmission Planning Principles From the Existing Final Principles 
of IRP

    Western is proposing to eliminate the existing transmission 
planning principles contained in the Final Principles of IRP published 
in the Federal Register on June 9, 1995 (60 FR 30533). Western will 
accomplish the original objectives of the transmission planning 
principles through use of existing planning groups and its OATT as 
discussed in more detail above.

[[Page 38148]]

PROCEDURES REQUIREMENTS

Environmental Evaluation

    Western's proposal to better define evaluation criteria and 
procedures for resource acquisition is an administrative action covered 
by an existing NEPA categorical exclusion. A categorical exclusion has 
been prepared and executed for this process. Once project-specific 
actions are identified under the Final Principles of IRP and the final 
evaluation criteria developed through the process defined, those 
actions would be individually subject to the appropriate level of NEPA 
review. Factors affecting the level of NEPA review include whether the 
project-specific action would integrate a new generation resource, 
precipitate changes to the transmission system, or change the normal 
operating limits of existing generation resources.

Determination under Executive Order 12866

    Western has an exemption from centralized regulatory review under 
Executive Order 12866; accordingly, no clearance of this notice by the 
Office of Management and Budget is required.

    Dated: June 22, 2011.
Timothy J. Meeks,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2011-16308 Filed 6-28-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P