Policy Primer: Utility Resource Planning

Utility resource planning continues to evolve as state regulators take a holistic approach to evaluate the energy delivery process and strive to provide more transparency in the planning process. Carbon reduction is becoming a key component of integrated resource plans (IRPs) amid the influx of distributed energy resources and new renewable generation under various state programs. IRPs provide an evaluation of utilities’ future electricity needs and potential means to meet the requirements.

California Commission Proposes Measures to Support Grid Reliability During Summer

The California Public Utilities Commission on March 5 released a proposal detailing utility programs to manage energy supply during peak hours so as to ensure reliability in the event of extreme heat in the summers of 2021 and 2022. The proposal is the latest in a series of actions under a proceeding that was opened…...

New England Capacity Auction Prices Rebound from Record Lows

ISO New England Inc.’s fifteenth annual forward capacity auction concluded with preliminary clearing prices ranging from $2.48 to $3.98 per kilowatt-month across different pricing zones, up from last year’s record low, according to the results released on Feb. 11. Clearing prices declined since peaking at $9.55 per kilowatt-month in 2015 and hit an all-time low…...

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…...

Visual Primer: State Regulators Scrutinize Gas Utility Planning to Align With Climate Goals

A growing number of states are investigating long-term planning of natural gas utilities to explore cost-effective alternatives that better align with climate policies. Investigation into the future of the gas industry is becoming important to develop strategies that facilitate progress toward a net-zero emissions energy future while safeguarding ratepayer interests and ensuring reliable service.

Vermont Legislation Creates Initiatives to Cut emissions From Thermal Energy, Transportation Sectors

Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, signed legislation on Sept. 23, which directs energy efficiency funds to support emissions reduction measures in the thermal energy and transportation sectors for a period of three years. The new law requires the Public Utility Commission to authorize an entity appointed to provide energy efficiency and conservation programs to…...

Visual Primer: Grid Modernization Strategies Increasingly Center on Innovation and Customer Engagement

State policy goals are driving comprehensive grid modernization endeavors aimed at transitioning to a flexible and efficient grid that caters to the needs of the evolving electric sector and diverse customer interests. A growing number of state regulators and utilities alike are embarking on innovative ventures, striving towards necessary enhancements to accomplish energy and environmental goals.

Duke Energy’s 15-Year Resource Plan for Carolinas Examines Options to Accelerate Coal Plant Retirements

Duke Energy Carolinas LLC and Duke Energy Progress LLC on Sept. 1 unveiled their 15-year integrated resource plans for the Carolinas, presenting a range of scenarios with accelerated coal retirement options and substantial increases in solar, wind, and energy storage technologies. The proposal details six generation portfolios that would keep Duke Energy Corp. on a…...

New York Advances Transmission Projects to Deliver Clean Energy to Downstate Market

The New York Public Service Commission on Aug. 13 announced an update on transmission initiatives underway to implement the 2020 Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth & Community Benefit Act. This legislation calls for significant investment  to meet New York’s target of sourcing 70 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030. The 2019 Climate Leadership…...

EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – States Advance Alternative Ratemaking Plans to Support Clean Energy Transition

Alternative ratemaking plans and innovative rate design proposals continue to emerge as utilities adapt to policy and technology changes driven by decarbonization efforts and distributed energy growth. With growing state mandates to increase renewable energy generation, regulators are devising performance metrics and incentives to encourage utility innovation in achieving policy goals.

Missouri Commission Approves Ameren’s Plan to Promote Demand-Side Programs

The Missouri Public Service Commission on August 5 approved an agreement, permitting Ameren Missouri to continue its energy efficiency and demand response plan. The program is an extension of Cycle 3 of the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act, or MEEIA, which was signed into law in 2009 to encourage investor-owned electric utilities to advance demand-side management…...

Massachusetts Launches Program to Foster Clean Energy Generation During Peak Periods

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources on Aug. 4 announced the launch of the Clean Peak Energy Standard, an incentive program designed to encourage the use of clean energy resources during times of peak electricity demand. The first-in-the-nation program requires retail electricity suppliers to increase their kilowatt-hour sales from clean energy during seasonal peak demand…...