Minnesota Commission Approves Xcel Energy’s $210 Million Wind Repower Portfolio

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on June 12 authorized a $210 million investment toward Xcel Energy Inc.’s wind repower portfolio. This investment is an effort to support Minnesota’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to reduce carbon emissions by displacing fossil energy sources. The repowering project, Northern Wind, is a build-operate-transfer proposal between the…...

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.

Mississippi Commission Authorizes State’s First Wind Turbine Facility

The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved the construction of a 200-megawatt wind turbine electric generation facility in Tunica County. The project will be developed by Tunica Wind Power LLC, whose parent company is Vestas—a company based in Denmark, that designs, installs, and services wind turbines having more than 132 GW of wind turbines in 83…...

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…...

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…...