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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Analysis of the management of uncertainty in long-term planning for electric utilities Irvine, Laura Jean


Electric utilities engaging in integrated resource planning face a variety of uncertainties which complicate the development of robust plans. These uncertainties occur in variables such as demand growth, energy price, green house gas regulations, and water inflows for hydroelectric-dominated utilities, just to name a few. This study examines the current planning methods in use among (largely North American) utilities with a particular focus on the features of each method that manage or mitigate uncertainty. The two most common planning methods (portfolio-based and scenario-based planning) are analysed and their advantages, disadvantages, potential alterations, and circumstances of best application are evaluated. These findings are then applied to the case of BC Hydro, one of the largest electric utilities in Canada, with recommendations for changes to their current planning process.

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