Michigan Commission Authorizes 797-Megawatt Expansion of DTE Electric’s Voluntary Renewable Power Program

The Michigan Public Service Commission on June 9 approved a partial settlement allowing DTE Electric Co. to increase its voluntary green pricing program by 797 megawatts from 2022-2025 and provide new program offerings to expand access for low-income customers. The voluntary program allows customers to meet a portion of their electricity needs from renewable energy…...

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.

Hawaii Regulator Approves Performance Mechanisms to Accelerate Clean Energy Goals

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved performance incentive mechanisms, scorecards, and metrics as part of its  performance-based regulatory framework for the Hawaiian Electric Companies. The framework was created on Dec. 23, 2020, aiming at becoming a system that rewards “utility for exemplary performance,” while reducing utility costs for customers, and moving towards more renewable energy…....

U.S. Energy Consumption Reached Record Low in 2020: EIA

U.S.energy consumption totaled 92.9 quadrillion British thermal units in 2020, a record 7 percent decrease from 2019, according to a June 4 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Renewable energy consumption increased by 2 percent, whereas all other fuels decreased: coal by 19 percent, petroleum by 13 percent, natural gas by 2 percent, and…...

Texas Lawmakers Pass Bill to Ensure Preparedness, Response, and Accountability During Power Outages

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed legislation on June 8, calling for comprehensive reforms aimed to prevent the recurrence of the mid-February winter storm event that caused widespread power outages across the state. Among the key provisions, the bill addresses winterization of power and gas facilities, establishes a power outage alert system, and establishes…...

D.C. Commission Pilots Multi-Year Rate Plan, Approves $108 Million Rate Hike for Pepco

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission on June 4 approved a multi-year rate plan for Potomac Electric Power Company, authorizing a revenue increase of $108.6 million spread over three years through 2023. The approval represents a 33 percent reduction from the company’s initial request and includes $11.4 million of shareholder-funded benefits. The rate plan,…...

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.

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…...