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week of Feb. 22, 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 York is set to receive proposals for wind and hydroelectric projects under a new program aimed to support continued operations of existing renewable energy resources; Connecticut regulators weigh electric distribution companies’ procurement plan for low emission and zero emission facilities; the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities discusses the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on utility bill arrearages.

Featured Entities

Alaska RCA


Connecticut PURA


New Jersey BPU

New York PSC


Oklahoma CC

Vermont PUC

Washington UTC

Federal Agencies

February 22
BOEM South Fork Offshore Wind Farm Draft

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is due to receive comments regarding its draft environmental assessment of Deepwater South Fork LLC’s proposed wind energy facility offshore Rhode Island. The project, a joint venture of Orsted A/S and Eversource Energy, would consist of up to 15 wind turbine generators with a capacity of 6-12 megawatts per turbine located offshore about 19 miles southeast of Block Island. The draft review, which analyses four alternatives including a no-action alternative, found that the construction, operation and decommissioning activities under the proposed action will have negligible to moderate impacts on the environment.

February 23
EIA Monthly Energy Review

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will issue its Monthly Energy Review, providing data on energy production, consumption, prices and trade. The share of renewables in the U.S. power generation mix is expected to rise from 21 percent in 2020 to 42 percent in 2050, according to the agency’s 2021 Annual Energy Outlook. The agency projects that renewable energy, driven by wind and solar power, will surpass natural gas to become the predominant source of generation by 2030. Solar generation, including photovoltaic and thermal technologies, is expected to outperform wind energy by 2040 to become the largest renewable generation source.

Eastern Region

February 23
NY PSC Standby, Buyback Service Rates Technical Conference

The New York Public Service Commission will hold its second technical conference on standby and buyback service rates in its Value of Distributed Energy Resources proceeding. The commission will discuss findings and recommendations in a whitepaper, issued in November, regarding utility filings on these rates and establishing optional demand-based rates. Specifically, the paper considers the application of the “Allocated Cost of Service methodology,” or ACOS, as well as the appropriateness of imposing some of the resulting changes to stand-alone energy storage systems. Further, the paper identifies a proposed ACOS method for investor-owned electric utilities to apply in developing such rates and recommends that stand-alone energy storage systems be exempted from contract demand charges for injections under buyback service. READ MORE

February 23
VT PUC Net Metering Grid Adjustor

The Vermont Public Utilities Commission will hold a workshop to discuss the implementation of a mitigation grid adjustor to minimize the ratepayer impacts of new net-metered projects within the Sheffield Highgate Export Interface, or SHEI, a transmission constrained region. The state’s Department of Public Service filed a straw proposal for a SHEI net-metering grid adjustor that would apply to new cases and provide a framework in developing an adjustor specific to existing projects. In 2019, the commission determined that a 500-kilowatt project in the region would have adverse economic impacts on ratepayers due to transmission constraints. Following that ruling, and a subsequent Vermont Supreme Court decision upholding the conclusion, the region has seen little development, with no net-metered projects above 150 kilowatts in capacity. 20-3304-PET

February 24
NYSERDA Renewable Energy Solicitation

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is due to receive proposals in response to its first solicitation under Competitive Tier 2, a large-scale renewable energy procurement program aimed to maximize the contributions and potential of the state’s existing resources to ensure their continued operations. The agency is seeking proposals from privately-owned hydropower and land-based wind generators that entered commercial operation prior to Jan. 1, 2015. The program will ensure that certain existing baseline renewable resources are retained through three annual solicitations. The agency will contract with awarded generators for the purchase of renewable energy certificates. Awards are expected in the second quarter of 2021.

February 25
NJ BPU COVID-19 Consumer Impact Public Hearing

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities will discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on utility bill arrearages. The board seeks comments on the appropriateness of any additional action to protect ratepayers. Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order in October to extend the moratorium on residential utility shutoffs for electric, gas, and water services, through March 15. The board held a public hearing on Feb. 8 to discuss the impact of the pandemic on consumers’ ability to pay utility bills, examine existing assistance programs, discuss the possible next steps to address arrearages, and understand the appropriate mechanisms and timelines to implement plans to address these issues.

February 26
CT PURA Procurement Plan for Low- and Zero-Emission Facilities

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority is due to receive comments on a joint procurement plan from electric distribution companies for low emission and zero emission facilities as it seeks to review the plan and establish tariffs for non-residential customers who install such projects on their premises. The agency recently established a residential program, creating tariff options for residential customers to buy products generated from a Class I renewable energy source located on their premises. The program establishes two tariff options consisting of a netting tariff with a monthly netting interval and an export rate at the applicable retail rates, and a “buy-all” tariff with a fixed compensation rate over the term. READ MORE

Western Region

February 23
AK RCA Electric Reliability Organization Regulations

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska will hold a technical conference to discuss regulations governing an electric reliability organization, or ERO. The discussion will focus on tariff filing requirements, penalties for failing to comply with approved reliability standards, ERO cost recovery, and conflict resolution procedures. A 2020 law authorized the commission to certify EROs and define their duties. Under the law, an electric utility must participate in an ERO if it operates in an interconnected transmission network served by a commission-certified organization. R-20-001

February 24

February 25
WA UTC Cascade Natural Gas Rate Case

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission will discuss Cascade Natural Gas Corporation’s application for adjustments of retail rates and charges applicable to natural gas services. The MDU Resources subsidiary filed an application seeking an increase in base revenues of $13.8 million, or 5.3 percent, with a return on equity of 10.3 percent. UG-200568

February 25
OK CC Resource Optimization Technical Conference

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission will discuss issues regarding energy resources and public utilities including battery storage, renewable natural gas, bill information, rate transparency and reporting, electric and natural gas vehicles, and utility-related eminent domain issues. The commission opened a proceeding in August 2020 to examine the aforementioned issues as well as the findings and recommendations from the Oklahoma Academy 2019 Town Hall “Oklahoma Energy: Optimizing Our Resources for the Future.” The inquiry seeks to identify and assess issues with a focus on maximizing available resources or developing resources. PUD-202000083