Smart Grid

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: 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.

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: States Rethink Resource Adequacy Constructs

Several states are rethinking the resource adequacy paradigm as the electric resource mix changes through the addition of more intermittent resources to replace retiring coal-fired capacity and meet state decarbonization goals. Resource adequacy initiatives are intended to ensure that the planned resource mix is sufficient to meet the future system capacity needs and maintain grid reliability.

Policy Primer: Distribution System Planning Evolves With Growing DER Deployment

Distribution system planning is occurring across various states as utilities and regulators assess the growing need for grid integration of distributed energy resources (DER) and investments that have long-term implications for the power system.

Year Ahead: Five Must-Watch Power Sector Trends for 2021

The shift in policy priorities of the incoming administration is expected to accelerate the transformation of the power sector towards clean energy and distributed grid, continuing its trajectory driven by market dynamics, technology, and customer preferences. The strong growth of renewable energy is expected to speed up, particularly with the extension of the federal tax…...

Policy Primer: Utilities Are Reshaping Rate Design Strategies

The growing adoption of clean energy standards, energy efficiency, and customer-sited resources is driving the need for innovative ratemaking principles. Utilities are exploring rate structures that facilitate the integration of variable and distributed generation, and align customer behavior with grid needs. Smart meters are paving the way for time-based and dynamic rate options to balance the grid under the increased penetration of renewable and distributed energy resources, as well as electric vehicles.

EnerKnol Grid Modernization Tracking Table

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…...