Minnesota Regulator Explores Role of Gas Utilities in Achieving Emission Goals

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission launched a proceeding on July 23 to examine regulatory and policy structures governing natural gas utilities, in a bid to evaluate potential changes required for accomplishing the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. The move stems from the Natural Gas Innovation Act enacted in June establishing a regulatory framework for gas…...

Policy Primer: Carbon Pricing July 2021 Update

Emission trading is coming to prominence as a key market-based tool in state efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, including decarbonization of the electricity sector. Among recent actions Washington has enacted legislation to implement an economy-wide cap-and-invest system, becoming the second state to have a comprehensive carbon-pricing program, and Pennsylvania has adopted rulemaking for a carbon trading program covering the power sector.

Oregon Law Requires 100 Percent Carbon-Free Electricity by 2040

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, signed legislation on July 19 requiring electricity providers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity sold to Oregon consumers to 80 percent below a 2010-2012 baseline of average emissions by 2030, 90 percent by 2035, and 100 percent by 2040. The law requires each electric company to develop…...

U.S. Energy Department Launches Tool to Expedite Residential Solar Permitting

The U.S. Energy Department on July 15 launched a free web-based platform that gives local governments the ability to fast-track review and approval of residential solar installation permits. The Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus, or SolarAPP+, aims to reduce barriers to solar deployment, spur economic development, and support renewables energy goals. The tool, developed by…...

Visual Primer: Growth of Intermittent Generation Expands Role of Demand Response in Grid Planning

Demand response (DR) portfolios of electric utilities across the U.S. continue to expand as they refine their programs and explore new options to support grid reliability in response to the changing resource mix. The role of DR in planning and operations is expected to increase as the resource mix continues to evolve with increasing generation from natural gas, wind, solar, battery storage, and other emerging distributed energy technologies.

Connecticut Regulator Approves Nine-Year Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Incentive Program

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on July 14 established a nine-year program to support the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The initiative provides a combination of incentives for charging infrastructure and accompanying rate design offerings to develop a sustainable, zero-emission vehicle market. Eversource Energy and The United Illuminating Company will administer the program…...

PJM Board Approves Changes to Minimum Offer Price Rule in Capacity Markets

PJM Interconnection LLC’s Board of Managers has approved a proposal aimed to reform the minimum offer price rule, or MOPR, in the regional capacity market that PJM operates across 13 states and the District of Columbia. Out of nine proposals presented by the grid operator and its stakeholders, the board selected PJM’s proposal finding that…...

Visual Primer: EV Infrastructure Proliferates as States Electrify Transportation to Meet Decarbonization Goals

Measures to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure are moving expeditiously driven by state zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) goals and decarbonization mandates. Among recent actions, Washington has adopted legislation requiring a mapping tool to plan charging infrastructure investments, while New Jersey is exploring an EV charging ecosystem for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. A handful of states have adopted measures to exempt charging station operators from regulatory oversight.

New Jersey Selects Orsted, Shell-EDF Partnership to Develop 2.7 Gigawatts of Offshore Wind Projects

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has awarded two offshore wind projects totaling nearly 2.7 gigawatts to Denmark-based Orsted A/S’ Ocean Wind II and Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC, a joint venture of EDF Renewables North America and Shell New Energies US LLC. The selection, which represents the largest combined offshore wind award in…...

President Biden Supports Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan Including $73 Billion in Power Grid Investment

U.S President Joe Biden on June 26 announced an agreement with a bipartisan group of senators on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure framework including $73 billion for power infrastructure. Among the key initiatives, the plan would create a new Grid Development Authority at the Department of Energy, deploy long distance, high voltage transmission, integrate the highest…...

Policy Primer: Energy Storage July 2021 Update

States are exploring ways to utilize the multiple benefits that energy storage provides to the grid, from enabling the increased penetration of renewable resources and reducing dependence on emitting generation, to bolstering reliability.

California Commission Orders Unprecedented 11.5-Gigawatt Procurement to Meet Clean Energy Goals

The California Public Utilities Commission on June 24 directed utilities to procure 11,500 megawatts of new generation from clean energy sources. This is the largest clean energy procurement ordered to date and is a step towards California’s goal of transitioning to 100 percent clean electricity by 2045. The resources, required to come online between 2023…...