Power & Utilities

State Policy Playbook: Washington Expedites Measures to Fulfill Clean Energy Policy Agenda

Washington is moving expeditiously to implement rules and strategies as the state seeks to achieve carbon-free electricity by 2045 and reduce emissions to net zero by 2050. The state is advancing multiple measures ranging from resource planning rules to establishing a carbon cap-and-trade program, and strengthening auto-emission standards.

Visual Primer: Texas and California Blackouts – Comparison of Regulatory and Legislative Responses

Texas state lawmakers are exploring solutions to address the issues faced during and after the mid-February winter storm event that caused widespread outages across the state. California, which faced a similar predicament due to an unprecedented heatwave in August 2020, albeit smaller in scale and severity, has advanced measures to ensure reliability this summer.

Policy Primer: Utility Resource Planning

Utility resource planning continues to evolve as state regulators take a holistic approach to evaluate the energy delivery process and strive to provide more transparency in the planning process. Carbon reduction is becoming a key component of integrated resource plans (IRPs) amid the influx of distributed energy resources and new renewable generation under various state programs. IRPs provide an evaluation of utilities’ future electricity needs and potential means to meet the requirements.

Visual Primer: Fallout From Winter Storm Uri Elicits Regulatory Actions Across U.S. States

The fallout from severe arctic weather during February has prompted regulators from Texas to Montana to examine utility infrastructure, preparedness and response, and impacts to customers. Texas, which experienced the worst power outages resulting from Winter Storm Uri, has issued multiple orders and initiated investigations to address the impacts of the grid event. Following announcements of an inquiry into the grid event and the possibility of market violations, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is now set to examine the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on electric system reliability. Regulators across several U.S. states are investigating the after-effects of the storm to mitigate bill impacts to customers while exploring cost-recovery for utilities which faced extraordinary expenses as natural gas prices soared to unprecedented levels.

Policy Primer: Transportation Electrification

Transportation electrification is gaining momentum across the U.S. as states and utilities continue to implement measures to boost electric vehicle (EV) adoption and expand charging infrastructure. Recent actions range from California’s vehicle-grid integration strategy to Pennsylvania’s rulemaking proposal for a light-duty EV requirement, and a utility-coalition plan for a seamless charging network.

Visual Primer: Texas Power Outages Draw Scrutiny into Grid Operator’s Market Design and Reliability

The widespread power outages across Texas during the extreme winter weather conditions brought about by a polar vortex in mid-February has raised questions about the reliability of the power grid operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. (ERCOT). The grid operator, which manages about 90 percent of the state’s electric load, reported that 48.6 percent of generation was forced out at the highest point due to the winter storm.

EnerKnol Special Report Part II: ERCOT Forecast Risks

EnerKnol is committed to providing real-time transparency of the fragmented and highly technical landscape of energy regulation. With this as our guiding principle we are examining our database of over 35,000,000 regulatory records for insights into last week's Texas outages.

Visual Primer: State Decarbonization Goals Spur Innovative Resource Planning Measures

Innovations in energy planning continue to emerge as state regulators devise programs and explore solutions that effectively meet customer needs and support policy goals. Recent state initiatives range from New York’s efforts to align gas planning with climate goals, to Maine’s investigation into the future design of the grid to accommodate growing renewables, and California’s transmission planning guidance to achieve ambitious decarbonization goals.

Enerknol Special Report: Texas Outages Raise Questions About ERCOT’s Reliability

EnerKnol is committed to providing real-time transparency of the fragmented and highly technical landscape of energy regulation. With this as our guiding principle we are examining our database of over 35,000,000 regulatory records for insights into last week's Texas outages.

Policy Primer: Net Metering Reforms

Net metering policies continue to evolve as state regulators seek to make rate structures more equitable to address cross-subsidy issues arising from the growing penetration of distributed solar generation. Net energy metering (NEM), which credits customer generators for grid-exported power, has been a key component of the policy framework to spur investment in customer-sited renewable energy facilities, including solar and energy storage systems. Successors to original tariffs are considering a range of factors including avoided utility costs, value to the grid, cost-shifting, and energy demand.

Policy Primer: Competitive Retail Electricity Markets

Interest in retail electric competition has been growing as innovative sources of energy production emerge, giving consumers an active role in managing their power supply. This has led to increased oversight as policymakers and regulators explore reforms to enhance customer protections while encouraging the development of a competitive market.

Policy Primer: Energy Storage Gains Prominence to Foster Grid Reliability

Energy storage initiatives are moving forward at a swift pace to complement clean energy policies as batteries can facilitate the integration of diverse generation technologies and address grid stability. With improving economics, there is a growing discussion on the role of energy storage as a grid asset to foster reliability and optimize renewables to meet ambitious clean energy goals.