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: Natural Gas Planning Being Reshaped by Policies Centered on Climate-Focused Energy Future

Ongoing state initiatives to transition to a low-carbon future and new actions from the federal level are impacting natural gas utilities’ long-term planning strategies. The challenge for utilities is to adapt to the changing policy landscape, evolving in ways that contribute to decarbonization.

Massachusetts Law Calls for Net Zero Emissions, Raises Offshore Wind Goal

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation on March 26, which commits the state to achieve net-zero emissions in 2050. The law allows Massachusetts to procure an additional 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind energy, bringing the state’s total authorization to 4 gigawatts by 2027. The law – An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate…...

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.

Connecticut Regulator Establishes New Residential Program to Replace Net Metering

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on Feb. 10 established a residential renewable energy program that will replace current net metering, as well as the residential solar incentive program starting January 1, 2022.  The initiative creates tariff options for residential customers to buy products generated from a Class I renewable energy source located on their…...

Michigan Regulator Explores Rate Design for Distributed Energy Resources

The Michigan Public Service Commission on Feb. 4 established a workgroup to analyze rate design options for distributed energy resources. The commission also adopted a definition for utility pilot projects and criteria for pilot program reviews under the MI Power Grid initiative, the state’s grid modernization effort intended to maximize the benefits of the shift…...

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.

New York Regulators Approve Cost Recovery for Utility Storage Deployment

The New York Public Service Commission on Jan. 21 approved tariffs filed by the state’s six major investor-owned electric utilities to allow recovery of contract costs for the procurement and deployment of energy storage systems. The move follows a 2018 order that established the state’s energy storage goal and deployment policy, directing cost recovery from…...

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.