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: Competitive Retail Electricity Markets

Interest in retail electric competition has been growing as innovative sources of energy production emerge, giving consumers an active role in managing their power supply. This has led to increased oversight as policymakers and regulators explore reforms to enhance customer protections while encouraging the development of a competitive market.

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.

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.

Oregon Regulator Examines Resource Adequacy Amid Coal Plant Retirements

The Oregon Public Utility Commission opened an investigation into resource adequacy in the state to address the growing concerns over the level of capacity in the region, according to a Jan. 7 notice. Reports and studies from various organizations including Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Energy+Environmental Economics(E3), Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee, and the California…...

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.

Hawaii Regulators Establish Performance-Based Regulation for Hawaiian Electric

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved a new performance-based regulation, or PBR, framework to govern Hawaiian Electric Company by better aligning the company’s interests with that of customers’ and the state’s clean energy goals. Hawaii is mandated by a 2018 law to implement PBR, establishing a financial link between utility revenues and performance in achieving…...

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.

Policy Primer: U.S. Offshore Wind Industry Update

Amid commitments to procure more than 29 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity by 2035, U.S. states are exploring measures for transmission planning, interconnection reforms, supply chain development, and components production.

New York Commission Slashes NYSEG, RG&E Rate Increase Request by 70 Percent

The New York Public Service Commission on Nov. 19 established a three-year rate plan for New York State Electric & Gas Corporation and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, both subsidiaries of Avangrid Inc., starting from April 2020. The commission approved a combined first-year rate increase of $65million, which is about 70 percent lower than what…...