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week of Mar. 1, 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, Texas regulators analyze the factors that combined with the extreme winter weather conditions to disrupt the flow of power to millions of homes; the California Public Utilities Commission assesses Southern California Edison Company’s corrective action plan for power shut-off events to mitigate wildfire risk; Minnesota discusses a proposed transition plan for utilities to resume normal operations after the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

Featured Entities

California PUC

Connecticut PURA


Maine PUC

Minnesota PUC

New York PSC


Texas PUC

Federal Agencies

March 4
FERC Alberta Xpress Project Decision

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is due to issue a final decision on ANR Pipeline Company’s proposed Alberta Xpress Project, which would add 165,000 dekatherms per day of firm capacity to ANR’s system to supply Gulf Coast LNG markets from Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin production. The facilities associated with the project, estimated to cost about $81.1 million, include a greenfield compressor station in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. The project’s environmental assessment determined that if ANR, a subsidiary of TC Energy Corp., constructs and operates the proposed facilities in accordance with its application and supplements, and commission staff’s recommended mitigation measures, there would be no significant impact on the environment. ANR anticipates an in-service date of Nov. 1, 2022. CP20-484-000, CP20-485-000

Eastern Region

March 1
ME PUC Small Generator Interconnection Rules

The Maine Public Utilities Commission is due to receive comments on the screening process for interconnecting Level 2 generating projects – facilities with a power rating of up to 2 megawatts – and potential penalties for utilities that fail to comply with the timing and scheduling requirements under the small generator interconnection procedures rule. The commission amended the rule in March 2020 in accordance with a 2019 law that expanded net energy billing and directed the agency to establish requirements for utilities to interconnect distributed generation resources and financial penalties to ensure timely actions to achieve the procurements. The agency noted that it became aware of Level 2 projects that have not met the standards for additional review or minor upgrades, and as a result are being considered under the Level 4 process, which imposes delays and increases costs. 2021-00033

March 4
PJM Capacity Market Workshop

PJM Interconnection LLC which manages the electric grid across 13 states and the District of Columbia, will conduct its second workshop regarding enhancements to its capacity market. In January, the grid operator announced four workshops to gather stakeholder input, in order to determine a path forward for advancing market design improvements. The workshop will include stakeholder discussion on how to frame any market design changes and the principles that possible enhancement should be built upon. The grid operator’s long-delayed capacity auction, for the 2022-2023 delivery year, is set to take place in May under market reforms directed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

March 4
NY PSC Retail Electric Market Technical Conference

The New York Public Service Commission will discuss topics for further working group meetings in its investigation into the potential benefits of retail competition to customers in the Long Island electricity market and develop a timeline for the participatory process. The commission is exploring potential opportunities for retail competition, best practices to inform discussions on the topic, ways to address barriers to creating the market, as well as protections for mass market and low-income customers. Electric customers in the rest of the state already have access to a competitive retail market, with reforms enacted recently to strengthen customer protections and enhance price and operational transparency. 15-02754

March 5
CT PURA ZEV Deployment Hearing

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority will discuss interrogatory responses in its investigation into the topic of zero emission vehicles in the state. The agency opened the investigation in October 2019 to enable Connecticut’s commitment to a 2013 multi-state memorandum of understanding, which established a collective goal of deploying 3.3 million ZEVs among participating states by 2025. The proceeding is part of a series of reopened proceedings to investigate topics considered integral for the agency’s framework for an Equitable Modern Grid. The framework seeks to foster solutions that address the challenges and opportunities facing the electric sector. 17-12-03RE04

Western Region

March 1
MN PUC COVID-19 Utility Transition Plans

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is due to receive comments regarding a proposed transition plan for utilities to resume normal operations after the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. The commission seeks input on the proposed criteria for the plan and additional topics that should be included in utility plans. Topics open for comment also include minimum or maximum parameters, such as duration of payment plans, how utilities should communicate their plans to customers, and changes to low-income efficiency programs. The commission opened a docket in March 2020 to investigate the customer impacts and utility response to the pandemic. An order issued in August established monthly reporting for rate-regulated utilities, extended consumer protections for the duration of the emergency, and required transition plans before utilities resume disconnections. CI-20-375

March 1
CA PUC Utility Power Shutoffs Corrective Action Plan

The California Public Utilities Commission will hold a public meeting for Southern California Edison Company to provide an update on its corrective action plan regarding Public Safety Power Shutoffs, or PSPS, events. In a meeting held in January, the commission discussed the operational deficiencies identified in the utility’s execution of its 2020 PSPS events. The commission adopted additional PSPS guidelines last June to mitigate wildfire risk, ensure that utilities support customer-friendly communications before and during such events, and minimize the impact on customers.

March 3
TX PUC Winter Storm Grid Event Investigation

The Texas Public Utilities Commission will discuss and analyze issues that led to widespread power outages during the extreme winter weather conditions brought about by a polar vortex which primarily affected the Midwest and Southern regions of the U.S. The commission has launched an investigation into the factors that combined with the weather event to disrupt power flow and has approved measures to protect retail electric customers impacted the financial effects of the grid event. The agency has also opened an investigation into the business practices of retail electric providers whose plans with pricing indexed to the wholesale rate are reported to have resulted in unusually high bills for Texas consumers in the aftermath of the event.

March 4
MN PUC NextEra 109 MW Wind Project

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will consider an application by Walleye Wind LLC for a site permit to build a 109.2-megawatt wind generation project in Rock County. The developer, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC, has entered into a power purchase agreement with Minnesota Municipal Power Agency for the full output of the project for a 30-year term. The project will help the agency meet its renewable energy standard requirements, as well as its own voluntary renewable energy goals. The company filed an amended permit application in November proposing changes to the layout, which result in a slight reduction in nameplate capacity from 110.8 megawatts to 109.2 megawatts. WS-20-384