In light of the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, state utility commissions are taking different approaches to mitigate the impacts on utilities and ratepayers. Several states have extended moratoriums on service terminations while directing utilities to proactively engage in outreach programs to inform customers about payment assistance and plans. Others have allowed utilities to resume disconnections for nonpayment as costs of unpaid bills continue to mount.
EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Utilities Continue Plans to Accelerate Phase-Out of Coal-Fired Generation
Proposals to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired generation appear more prominently in long-term resource plans of U.S. electric utilities, reflecting the growing shift to renewable energy. The transition from coal continues to be driven by state clean energy mandates, emissions reduction goals, low natural gas prices, and increased availability of low-cost renewables and storage resources.
EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Increased Focus on Clean Energy Prompts Wholesale Power Markets to Weigh Carbon Pricing
There is a growing interest in how carbon pricing can be incorporated into wholesale power markets as more jurisdictions embrace policy goals to transition to a lower-carbon power system. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has scheduled a technical conference to consider state adoption of mechanisms to price carbon emissions in regions with commission-jurisdictional electricity markets.
EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – States Advance Alternative Ratemaking Plans to Support Clean Energy Transition
Alternative ratemaking plans and innovative rate design proposals continue to emerge as utilities adapt to policy and technology changes driven by decarbonization efforts and distributed energy growth. With growing state mandates to increase renewable energy generation, regulators are devising performance metrics and incentives to encourage utility innovation in achieving policy goals.
EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – FERC’s Updates to Utility Power Procurement Rules Gives States More Say in Rate Setting
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has revised the regulations for implementing a 1978 federal law, which requires electric utilities to purchase power from small power producers. The reforms, intended to reflect changes in the energy markets, mark the first major overhaul to utility power procurement rules under the law, which has spurred the growth of small renewable generators.
EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Court Cements Energy Storage Access to Wholesale Markets, Expands Opportunities for Growth
In a major victory for the energy storage industry, a federal court affirmed that battery installations connected to the distribution grid must have the opportunity to access wholesale power markets. The move comes as federal regulators are examining the growing interest in hybrid resources, with battery technology seen as an important tool in integrating other resources to the grid. The affirmation bodes well for expanding wholesale market access to distributed energy resources.
A growing number of states are exploring grid modernization to keep pace with fast-evolving technological advances and growing distributed generation. The smart grid concept ties together multiple initiatives ranging from solar-battery microgrids to vehicle-to-grid power flow management, and grid hardening to support reliability and resiliency. It may also include advanced meters, which are a pivotal…...
Declining costs, evolving technology, and changing grid needs are accelerating the pace of deployment of battery storage projects. Regulators seek to spur investments to leverage the multiple benefits of batteries, including the ability to add large amounts of intermittent renewable generation to the system, and to defer or eliminate the need to build new transmission…...
Utilities are stepping up efforts to boost retail power and gas rates to offset tepid growth in electric demand and weak prices in the wholesale markets. Utilities are also overhauling how charges are set by launching non-traditional rate programs, including revenue decoupling and performance-based rates. Keep on top of the latest utility rate programs by…...
EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Utility Regulators Focus on Assisting Customers, Rekindling Economy as COVID-19 Evolves
As the pandemic continues to unfold, utility regulators across the U.S. are focusing on the core issues of providing relief for the hardest-hit customers and reviving the economy with the help of utility initiatives. To date, several states have extended disconnection moratoriums and implemented customer relief programs, while others are examining how additional spending by the utilities could provide new jobs while minimizing customer bill impacts in the future.
EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – States Weigh Regulatory Constructs to Capitalize on Multiple Grid Roles of Battery Storage
A growing number of states across the U.S. are amping up energy storage to complement the drive towards clean energy as batteries can help integrate diverse generation technologies and stabilize the grid. State commitments to procure battery storage capacity now top 11 gigawatts, following targets established by Nevada and Virginia this year.
More states and utilities are exploring microgrids as part of their resiliency strategies driven by the growing demand to bolster the reliability of the power system in the face of extreme weather events, such as storms and wildfires.