EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – U.S. Competitive Retail Energy Markets Face Slew of Oversight Bills Amid Growing Calls for Consumer Safeguards

More than half of U.S. states with competitive retail energy markets face proposals for stricter oversight rules from lawmakers, including measures to phase out the industry altogether, as efforts mount to put in place more consumer protections. Just five months into most states’ legislative sessions, over two dozen proposals have emerged to toughen rules around billing and marketing practices, licensing and registration and contractual terms.

How America’s Sunny Isles Are Spearheading Grid Innovation in Pursuit of Resilience

Hawaii and Puerto Rico are at the forefront of a trend just starting to sweep the nation as regulators look to overhaul a grid now growing more reliant on intermittent supplies. The experience of these islands could shed light on the need to consider the implications of future grid investments for both reliability and regional…

U.S. House Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Establish Energy Storage Tax Credit

Rep. Michael Doyle, a Democrat representing Pennsylvania, introduced legislation on April 4 that would expand the solar investment tax credit to include energy storage technology for utilities, businesses, and homes. The current tax code provides the credit for battery technologies paired with a solar installations. (H.R.2096) More than 100 House Democrats, led by Congresswoman Haley…

Massachusetts Utilities Revise Performance Metrics to Track Grid Modernization Progress

National Grid plc, Unitil Corp., and Eversource Energy put forth revised performance metrics that they propose to use for evaluating the progress under their individual grid modernization plans, as well as the statewide goals of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, according to an April 3 filing. Last May, the department approved the companies’ grid modernization plans,…

PJM Files Price Formation Reforms for Proper Valuation of Energy Reserves

PJM Interconnection LLC on March 29 filed a proposal with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to revise its energy and reserve market rules to properly value the energy reserves that support grid reliability by providing the flexibility needed to accommodate the evolving resource mix. The grid operator said that the growing variability of power demand…

Maryland Lawmakers Pass Legislation to Expand Community Solar, Establish Battery Pilot

The Maryland legislature on March 28 approved a measure that would extend the state’s community solar pilot through 2024 and remove the limit on the maximum number of subscribers in the program. The legislation would also include annually increasing capacity levels for each program category, modifying the current requirement that allows restrictions to enable regulators…

Natural Gas Dethrones Coal in Nation’s Largest Wholesale Electricity Market

Natural gas accounted for nearly 31 percent of power generation in PJM Interconnection LLC’s footprint in 2018, surpassing coal’s share of about 29 percent, according to a March 18 report from the grid operator’s market monitor. Nuclear power dominated the region’s generating sector representing about 34 percent of the generation mix last year. Renewables had…

Kansas Regulator Declines to Mandate Smart Meter Opt-Out Program, Citing Difficulty in Implementation

The Kansas Corporation Commission decided that there is no need for utilities to offer an alternative metering solution for customers who wish to opt out of advanced meters, according to a March 14 order. The agency said that implementing an opt-out program would be difficult, given the high costs and administrative burden. Such a program…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – States Make Strides in Setting Pay Outs for Battery Storage, Opening Door to Growth

U.S. states are plowing ahead in setting market compensation rules for battery technology, laying the foundation for future growth of the fast-maturing technology in retail and wholesale markets. While progressive states California, New York and Massachusetts are charging ahead in how to value the resource, others are still grappling with how to regulate a system that fails to fit squarely in any one box and that raises a range of jurisdictional and ownership questions.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – U.S. States Intensify Scrutiny of Advanced Meter Program Costs, Putting Deployments at Risk

The spread of advanced meters across the U.S. has come a long way, with over half of the nation's 152 million electricity consumers now hooked up to the devices. But further deployment of the technology, seen critical for a more responsive and reliable grid, is at risk amid heightened scrutiny from regulators, who are increasingly bowing to concerns over the costs to consumers.

PacifiCorp Proposes $22 Million Portfolio of Innovative Programs to Enhance Grid Management

Rocky Mountain Power, a division of PacifiCorp, proposed three innovative utility programs to explore vehicle-to-grid power flow management, study the value of behind-the-meter grid optimized solar-plus-battery installations, and improve outage response by deploying line sensor technology on distribution circuits, according to a March 8 filing with the Utah Public Service Commission. The initiatives form the…

Florida Regulator Approves Smart Meter Opt-Out Provision for Tampa Electric Customers

The Florida Public Service Commission on March 5 accepted Tampa Electric Company’s opt-out tariff for customers who wish to retain their existing analog meter instead of a smart meter. The company anticipates about 0.2 percent of customers to opt out of the initiative, after reviewing experiences with other utilities that have implemented advanced metering programs….