Visual Primer: Performance-Based Regulation Expands to Advance Clean Energy Transition, Serve Social Goals

Performance-based regulation (PBR) continues to evolve in the face of transformational changes brought about by new technologies, changing customer preferences, and state policy mandates. Recent actions range from Hawaii’s approval of performance incentive mechanisms to accelerate clean energy goals, the District of Columbia’s ratemaking pilot that contains climate goals-driven tracking mechanisms, and Washington’s law to move towards PBR to help utilities adapt to rapidly changing societal expectations and public policy objectives.

Visual Primer: Capacity Prices Fall by 64 Percent in First PJM Capacity Auction After Market Reforms

The long-awaited capacity market auction of PJM Interconnection LLC for the 2022-2023 delivery year cleared at $50 per megawatt-day, which is 64 percent lower than the 2018 auction and the lowest in almost a decade. This is the first auction to be conducted by the nation’s largest grid operator under the expanded minimum offer price rule (MOPR) resulting from a 2019 order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Policy Primer: Grid Modernization

Grid modernization endeavors are progressing at a fast pace as states explore solutions to advance clean energy and climate goals while effectively meeting customer needs. Modernizing the grid is necessary to support the integration of additional levels of renewables, leverage customer-sited resources to participate in grid operations, and empower consumers with more choices for electric service.

Visual Primer: Race for Carbon-Free Grid Puts Hydropower in New Light

Changing power sector trends driven by mandates and goals to achieve carbon-free electricity have renewed interest in the future role of hydropower. As the target years draw near, large-scale hydropower offers an attractive solution to contribute to the evolving generation mix.

Visual Primer: Rapidly Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape Reignites Concerns About Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability

A recent ransomware attack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline system, which supplies nearly half the fuel consumed on the East Coast, has elevated concerns about the use of cyberattacks to paralyze key infrastructure. The incident is the latest example of intrusions exposing U.S. cyber vulnerabilities, calling for stronger measures to secure the nation’s energy pipelines and critical infrastructure against increasingly sophisticated and malicious attacks.

Visual Primer: Preserving Existing Nuclear Generation Fleet Expected to Help Drive Clean Energy Transition

Options to sustain the existing nuclear generation fleet have resurfaced as states reevaluate their resource portfolios to expedite the transition to carbon-free energy. Policy support for the resource emerged as a means to stave off plant closures in the face of economic challenges, by rewarding its fuel diversity and zero-carbon attributes.

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.

Dominion Launches Solicitation for 1,000 Megawatts of Renewables, Storage

Dominion Energy Inc. on April 29 announced a solicitation seeking proposals to develop up to 1,000 megawatts of utility-scale solar and onshore wind generation facilities and 100 megawatts of energy storage projects in Virginia. The company issues solicitations annually to procure the resources needed to meet the targets of the 2020 Clean Economy Act, which…...

Washington Lawmakers Pass Bill to Establish Cap-and-Trade Program

The Washington legislature on April 24 passed legislation aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by implementing an economy-wide cap-and-invest system. Upon enactment, Washington will become the second state – next to California – to have a comprehensive carbon-pricing program. The state would auction carbon allowances starting in 2023, aligned with the 2030, 2040, and 2050…...

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.

President Biden Commits U.S. to Achieve 50 Percent Emissions Reductions in 2030

U.S. President Joe Biden on April 22 announced a new target for the U.S. to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 percent in 2030 relative to 2005 levels. In January, Biden took action to recommit the U.S. to the Paris Climate Agreement, as part of a series of executive actions reflecting his energy agenda…...

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.