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week of Aug. 2, 2021

The EnerKnol Week Ahead is back to give you the key energy policy events happening next week, all powered by the EnerKnol Platform. Coming up, New Jersey regulators explore a pathway for the buildout of charging infrastructure for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles; Minnesota examines the role of natural gas utilities in achieving emissions reduction goals; the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission considers revisions to rules regarding resource plans and procurement procedures of electric utilities.

Featured Entities




Maryland PSC

Minnesota PUC

Missouri PSC

New Jersey BPU

New Mexico PRC

Federal Agencies

August 2
BOEM Dominion’s Offshore Wind Project Review

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is due to receive comments to inform the preparation of an environmental impact statement for Dominion Energy Inc.’s proposal to construct a wind energy facility offshore Virginia. The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial Project would consist of 205 turbines capable of generating 2.5 to 3 gigawatts. The project would help the state reach its legislated goal of securing 5.2 gigawatts of offshore energy by 2034. Dominion Energy is already operating a two-turbine, 12-megawatt pilot wind farm located near the proposed project location and is expected to provide data to inform the commercial-scale project.

August 6
DOE Climate Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship RFI

The U.S. Energy Department is due to receive responses to its request for information regarding facilitating an inclusive and just entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem in climate and energy technologies. The agency seeks to understand the current barriers to entry to funding opportunities, and innovation and entrepreneurship activities. The department also seeks information on programmatic, operational, or other internal measures that it can implement to remove these barriers for first-time applicants and those from non-traditional backgrounds. Measures may encompass application support services for funding opportunities, and incubation and acceleration services for entrepreneurship. This request is not aimed at policy recommendations, but rather at changes the agency can implement using its existing authority.

Eastern Region

August 5
MD PSC EmPOWER Program Transition

The Maryland Public Service Commission will discuss climate equity and low- to moderate-income goals and programs as part of EmPOWER Maryland, the state’s energy efficiency program. The current goal structure for EmPOWER is mandated by legislation through the end of the 2021-2023 program cycle and the commission is required to provide the General Assembly with recommendations on future goals and cost-effectiveness tests by July 1, 2022. An order issued in December 2020 authorized the transition to the next three-year program cycle and approved various proposals by the program administrators to continue operating the core energy efficiency programs in 2021-2023.

August 5
NJ BPU EV Infrastructure Proposal

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities will discuss a proposed framework for a medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicle charging network, continuing its efforts to build out an equitable, reliable EV Ecosystem infrastructure. The proposal recommends a modified “shared responsibility model,” building on the model used for light-duty EV rules issued last year. This model seeks to balance the roles of electric utilities and private investors, in order to minimize the financial impact to ratepayers. Other components of the framework include funding requirements, enabling equitable access to all communities, and utility rate reforms to overcome barriers to mass infrastructure deployment. Legislation enacted in 2020 calls for least 330,000 EVs registered in New Jersey by the end of 2025 and at least 2 million by 2035. READ MORE

Western Region

August 2
CAISO Energy Imbalance Market Review

The California Independent System Operator Corp. will host a meeting of the Western Energy Imbalance Market, or EIM, Governance Review Committee to consider the second part of a draft final proposal on refinements to the market’s governance. Following final stakeholder comment, the committee will vote on whether to approve and submit the proposal to the Board of Governors and Western EIM Governing Body. The proposal address issues related to delegation of authority – the role of the governing body in approving policy initiatives to change market rules, how the role is shared with the board, and issues relating to the durability of the delegation. EIM’s advanced market system automatically secures low-cost energy to serve real-time customer demand over a broad region spanning across multiple western states. The market optimizes resources from a larger and more diverse pool, facilitating integration of surplus renewable that may otherwise be curtailed.

August 2
NM PRC Utility Resource Plans and Procurement Procedures

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission will hold a workshop to discuss revisions to rules governing integrated resource plans and procurement procedures of electric utilities. The commission initiated a rulemaking in May to comply with laws that have been enacted or amended since the original rule was promulgated in 2007. The measure seeks to establish utility filing requirements to identify the most cost-effective portfolio of resources, including establishing a competitive format for analyzing alternative resource portfolio plans that ensure fair, robust competition in selection of plans. The revision would ensure that utilities prioritize requirements for reducing emissions, fostering clean energy development, and grid modernization, as well as distributed resources, demand response, renewable energy, and flexible generation. 21-00128-UT

August 3
MN PUC Natural Gas Utility Regulatory, Policy Structures

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will hold a meeting to discuss a report issued by the Great Plains Institute and the Center for Energy and Environment describing a stakeholder process and recommendations on decarbonizing the state’s natural gas end uses. Legislation enacted in June directed the commission to initiate a proceeding to examine potential changes to the regulatory and policy structures governing natural gas utilities, in order to achieve the state’s emissions reduction goals. Several provisions in the law, such as provisions around utility investments in innovative resources and the associated innovation plans, align with the recommendations, according to the stakeholder group that developed the report. CI-21-565

August 6
MO PSC Spire Missouri Rate Case Hearing

The Missouri Public Service Commission will consider Spire Missouri Inc’s. application for adjustments of retail rates and charges applicable to its natural gas service. The Spire Inc. subsidiary asked for an annual revenue increase of $65 million, which would result in a monthly bill increase of $3.28 for the average customer. The company also requested a rebasing of approximately $47 million of the Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge, which is already being recovered in rates. GR-2021-0108