EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Grid Operators Set to Expand Opportunities for Energy Storage in Wholesale Markets

Regional grid operators have filed proposals to comply with the first federal directive for broader participation of the technology in regional wholesale power markets. The California system operator is already compliant with majority of the requirements, with a market design that FERC has cited as an example for integrating storage resources. New York grid operator’s proposal poses limitations, such as lack of dual participation in wholesale and retail markets, amidst the state’s efforts to advance an ambitious 3-gigawatt goal for storage.

Four Must-Watch Power Sector Trends for 2019

The power sector evolution continues unabated, marked by rapid growth of wind and solar, and a growing shift toward distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, battery storage, and electric vehicles. Interest in batteries is accelerating as states seek to capitalize the multiple benefits the technology provides to the grid, while the smart grid evolution…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Virginia’s Renewable Capacity to Triple in Latest Shift from Fossil Fuels

Virginia is striding towards a clean energy future by paving the way for faster and larger deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018 declares that 5,000 megawatts of solar and wind energy are in the public interest, making it easier for these projects get regulatory approval. The state’s 10-year energy plan emphasizes grid modernization and innovative technologies, setting goals for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Time-Based Rates Pick Up Pace as Grid Modernization Efforts Rise

The move towards time-varying rates is on the rise as electric utilities seek rate designs that better align with the changing energy landscape. Utilities are increasingly experimenting with time-of-use rates (TOU) – which price electricity higher when peak demand drives up system costs –as customer-sited generation eats into revenues needed to maintain the grid and amid a widening disparity between average and peak demand.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Utilities Seek Demand Charges as States Tussle with Net Metering Policies

The proliferation of customer-sited generation has prompted utilities to push for demand charges – a fee based on a customer’s peak consumption during a billing period – to recover fixed costs and address cross-subsidies. Utilities face the conundrum of losing revenue as customers installing distributed generation, such as rooftop solar, rely less on the utility for power needs while also shifting costs to other customers. Solar advocates argue that these fees impact customers’ ability to control their bill, potentially wiping out the incentive to install solar.

The Renewable Green Wave Promised by Democratic Electoral Victories

The political puzzle pieces are falling into place for nearly a dozen states to strengthen targets for the deployment of renewable generation following the Midterm elections, in what could serve as the latest driver for growth in solar- and wind-powered electricity. Newly elected Democratic governors in six states, ranging from Maine to New Mexico, ran on campaigns to pursue more ambitious renewable energy goals. Their rise to power not only boosts the prospect for more aggressive environmental mandates and targets, but will also mark a progressive shift in energy policy from their respective Republican predecessors, which had blocked renewable-friendly measures.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Rapid EV Growth Prompts Focus on Rate Design for Charging Services

The continued growth in electric vehicle (EV) adoption has led state regulators to pay more attention to business models and rate designs that facilitate wider availability of charging infrastructure. Most recently, Pennsylvania took a big step towards innovative and dynamic pricing by clarifying that third party EV charging is not considered resale or redistribution of power. California is considering a utility proposal to replace demand charges with new subscription pricing, allowing customers to select the required amount of power for their stations. New York is analyzing the characteristics of charging systems to foster EV participation as a distributed resource. Iowa is examining business models for EV charging, while Illinois is exploring rate structures and charging practices to guide efficient integration of electric vehicles.

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Ohio Seeks to Modernize Grid via Electric Vehicles, Non-wires Alternatives, and Data Accessibility

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio established the PowerForward Collaborative, a utility workgroup charged with monitoring the marketplace to propel the state along its roadmap of grid modernization. The collaborative will examine issues related to electric vehicles and deployment of non-wires alternatives. In addition, its two workgroups will consider integrated distribution planning and data access issues associated with grid modernization. The PowerForward roadmap aims to create a regulatory paradigm that will allow innovation to reach all customers. The plan envisions the modern grid as an open-access platform that helps applications interface seamlessly as they evolve and a marketplace that advances organically, allowing customers to buy innovative products and services from entities of their choice.

State Commitments to Procure Energy Storage Exceed 5.3 Gigawatts

States have started to build the foundation for a future of battery storage to capitalize on the multiple benefits the technology provides to the grid, from helping integrate renewables to bolstering the reliability of the network. State legislatures are boosting the number and diversity of measures proposed to stoke storage markets, considering a broad array…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Mid Atlantic Power Market Gears Up for Reforms as Debate Over Subsidized Resources Intensifies

PJM Interconnection LLC is at the crossroads for capacity market reforms as participation of sources receiving out-of-market state revenues continues to grow. Significant debate around the issue of price suppression from subsidized resources culminated in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's invalidation of PJM’s capacity market rules. Several states have opposed the premise arguing that the threat from subsidies is overstated and sweeping changes would unlawfully intrude on state energy policies. Following the FERC directive which rejected PJM’s changes proposed in April, the grid operator on Oct. 2 unveiled a plan which would address price distortion while advancing state policy interests.

Electric Utility Customer Savings to Top $10 Billion in Tax Reform Windfall

The Trump Administration enacted the largest tax cut in over 30 years in 2018. The historic reductions are having a seismic impact on dozens of investor-owned electric utilities across the nation, leaving them with billions of dollars in over-collected revenues and slashing the rates they can charge consumers. EnerKnol’s first-of-its-kind report provides a comprehensive snapshot…

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – U.S. Natural Gas is Reshaping Global Markets and Domestic Power Generation

The U.S. shale revolution which kicked off a decade ago ushered in a new era for natural gas which has reshaped the power grid overtaking coal as the dominant source of electricity generation and established a thriving market for liquefied natural gas exports. The U.S. has remained the world's top producer of natural gas since 2009, and natural gas accounts for a third of all U.S. electricity generation. Last year, the U.S. became a net natural gas exporter for the first time in almost 60 years. The trend is expected to continue with growing production, increasing export capacity, and expanding gas infrastructure.