Virginia Regulator Asks Dominion Energy to Redo $6 Billion Grid Transformation Plan

The Virginia State Corporation Commission on Jan. 17 turned down a majority of Dominion Energy Inc.’s 10-year, $6 billion grid transformation proposal, finding that the utility had not shown that the costs are prudent. The agency approved only a $150 million cyber and physical security component for the first three-year phase, estimated to cost $1.5…

Four Must-Watch Power Sector Trends for 2019

The power sector evolution continues unabated, marked by rapid growth of wind and solar, and a growing shift toward distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, battery storage, and electric vehicles. Interest in batteries is accelerating as states seek to capitalize the multiple benefits the technology provides to the grid, while the smart grid evolution…

New Hampshire State Lawmakers Propose Bill to Study Role of Microgrids for Resilience

New Hampshire House Democratic lawmakers Peter Somssich, Jacqueline Cali-Pitts, and Kenneth Vincent introduced legislation on Jan. 2 that would establish a task force to investigate the near- and long-term applications of microgrids to better manage demand on the primary grid, allowing for lower customer bills and more efficient use of electricity. (HB 238) The bill…

Dayton Power and Light Plans Smart Meters for All Ohio Customers in $576 Million Grid Modernization Proposal

The Dayton Power and Light Company, a subsidiary of AES Corporation, filed a distribution modernization plan with the Public Utility Commission of Ohio that proposes to invest $576 million in capital projects over the next decade, according to a Dec. 28 press release. The company said that plan is consistent with PowerForward, the state’s grid…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Virginia’s Renewable Capacity to Triple in Latest Shift from Fossil Fuels

Virginia is striding towards a clean energy future by paving the way for faster and larger deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018 declares that 5,000 megawatts of solar and wind energy are in the public interest, making it easier for these projects get regulatory approval. The state’s 10-year energy plan emphasizes grid modernization and innovative technologies, setting goals for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Time-Based Rates Pick Up Pace as Grid Modernization Efforts Rise

The move towards time-varying rates is on the rise as electric utilities seek rate designs that better align with the changing energy landscape. Utilities are increasingly experimenting with time-of-use rates (TOU) – which price electricity higher when peak demand drives up system costs –as customer-sited generation eats into revenues needed to maintain the grid and amid a widening disparity between average and peak demand.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Ohio Seeks to Modernize Grid via Electric Vehicles, Non-wires Alternatives, and Data Accessibility

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio established the PowerForward Collaborative, a utility workgroup charged with monitoring the marketplace to propel the state along its roadmap of grid modernization. The collaborative will examine issues related to electric vehicles and deployment of non-wires alternatives. In addition, its two workgroups will consider integrated distribution planning and data access issues associated with grid modernization. The PowerForward roadmap aims to create a regulatory paradigm that will allow innovation to reach all customers. The plan envisions the modern grid as an open-access platform that helps applications interface seamlessly as they evolve and a marketplace that advances organically, allowing customers to buy innovative products and services from entities of their choice.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Six Policies Pushing Hawaii Towards 100 Percent Renewables

Over the past four months, Hawaii has established performance-based ratemaking, initiated a microgrid tariff proceeding, unveiled a grid planning proposal, and enacted three bills on climate including a framework for carbon credits to fund carbon mitigation projects. The island is also exploring an electric vehicle roadmap.


EnerKnol Insights – Changing Net Metering Landscape Relies on Solar-Plus-Storage to Solve Cost Shifting

Net metering reforms are becoming more common to keep pace with the evolution of solar and other forms of distributed generation. Regulators are increasingly pushing for adjustments to the valuation of distributed generation as higher levels of supplies begin to strain the grid. Rate designs that value solar-plus-storage could solve the growing concerns of cost shifts and approaching net metering caps.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Utilities Adapt Resource Plans to Reap Economics of Renewables, Storage

Electric utilities are striving to develop Integrated Resource Plans based on an evaluation of the full range of available supply and demand side options in a changing energy landscape that is becoming more complex and uncertain due to emerging trends. These include intermittent large-scale renewable energy, customer-sited distributed energy resources, energy efficiency, demand response, upgrades to aging infrastructure, and legislative clean energy mandates.


EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Utilities Seek to Weaken Renewable Energy Contracts as DIY Projects Proliferate

The dramatic fall in renewables costs have enticed several utilities to look at large-scale investments and also attracted a large number of independent developers seeking to qualify their projects for must-buy obligations under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). Utilities have complained about having to overpay qualifying facilities and buy electricity even when they don’t need it. The must-buy requirements are also interfering with the utilities’ own plans of developing renewable plants, intensifying the pushback against PURPA.

EnerKnol Insights – How Hurricanes Are Sparking Latest Push For Grid Resilience

Extreme weather is figuring more prominently than ever into America's energy policy as the nation recovers from a rash of storms and a catastrophic hurricane season that's inflicted hundreds of billions of dollars in damage. In the name of resiliency and reliability, the Trump administration and regulators alike are seeking unprecedented changes to wholesale power markets, as well as urging massive investments in nascent technologies, like microgrids and battery storage, to gear up for the next bomb cyclone, derecho, polar vortex or hurricane season.