Advanced Energy Perspectives

Through Long and Winding Process, Corporate Procurement of Renewable Energy in Michigan Gets Better

Posted by Caitlin Marquis and Laura Sherman

Dec 11, 2018 2:00:00 PM

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Photo by Drew Buikema, used under a Creative Commons license

Back in December 2016, an omnibus energy bill signed into law in Michigan contained a small section requiring utilities to develop “voluntary green pricing” programs. Today, nearly two years later, the ensuing regulatory process is producing results that will open new renewable energy options for residential as well as commercial and industrial (C&I) customers. The Michigan Public Service Commission recently issued orders requiring improvements to Consumers Energy’s “Large Customer Renewable Energy Program” (LC-REP) and Solar Gardens program, and to DTE’s MIGreenPower program, while also requiring DTE to introduce a new program focused on C&I customers. The regulatory process is far from complete, but before long corporate customers in Michigan will have more and better ways to procure the renewable energy they want to power their operations.

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Topics: Advanced Energy Buyers Group, Regulation, Highlights

The Numbers are In and Renewables are Winning On Price Alone

Posted by Coley Girouard

Dec 5, 2018 4:00:00 PM


We knew this time was coming, but now it’s here: Call it the crossover point, when technologies like large-scale wind and solar come so far down the cost curve that they become cheaper than legacy sources of electric power generation. Cheaper than the old alternatives, in terms of making new investments. Cheaper, even, than keeping old power plants going, in some cases. And that time is now. You can see it in the latest estimates of lifetime costs of electricity from new power sources made by investment bank Lazard, and you can see it in the latest purchases of renewable power by utilities. Any way you look at it, advanced energy is winning.

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System

What’s Been Trending on PowerSuite? Self-Generation Incentives in Calif., Resource Planning in Mich., Grid Modernization and RPS Everywhere

Posted by Eric Fitz and Claire Alford

Nov 29, 2018 1:48:50 PM

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In 2018,  topics trending on the internet ranged from the Supreme Court confirmation hearings to the royal wedding. But on PowerSuite, AEE’s online tool for identifying and managing energy policy risks and opportunities, the trends looked a little different. Similar to YouTube or Twitter, “trending” in PowerSuite means an item is popular among users and particularly active, in terms of hearings, amendments, floor action, or regulatory filings. This year, legislation providing incentives for customer-sited energy storage in California and a utility’s resource plan in Michigan were the top bill and regulatory proceeding, respectively, trending on PowerSuite. But there’s more to be learned about energy policy in 2018 from choices made by PowerSuite’s 1,400 active monthly users.

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Topics: PowerSuite

What Congress Can Learn from Texas about Heat Waves and Competitive Markets

Posted by Dylan Reed

Nov 28, 2018 11:30:00 AM

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Image courtesy of Chrishna and used under a Creative Commons license.

Severe weather events – whether hurricanes, wildfires, cold snaps, or heat waves – increasingly play a role in the lives of Americans. While extreme weather creates all sorts of problems, high on the list is the stress they put on the electric grid. Prior to this year, the 2014 Polar Vortex has been pointed to by those concerned about the ability of the electric grid to withstand severe weather events, and we’ve noted how wind and demand response helped keep the lights on during that cold snap. But in 2018, it was an expected heat wave in Texas that loomed as a potential threat to the grid. Would the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator that relies more on market principles than any other in the country, be able to keep on the lights? The answer turned out to be yes – with lessons that could prove instructive to the 116th Congress when it convenes in January.  

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, Federal Policy Update

Distribution system planning: Proactively planning for more distributed assets at the grid edge

Posted by Coley Girouard and Ryan Katofsky

Nov 27, 2018 11:00:00 AM

This is the seventh in an occasional series from AEE, originally published in Utility Dive, that addresses how the power sector can successfully transition to a 21st Century Electricity System.

U.S. utilities invest over $20 billion per year replacing and modernizing their electricity distribution infrastructure. As the electricity system continues to evolve, making sure that this money continues to be invested wisely, especially at a time of growing deployment of distributed energy resources (DER), is prompting changes to how utilities conduct distribution system planning.

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, PUCs, Regulation

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Advanced Energy Perspectives is AEE's blog presenting news, analysis, and commentary on creating an advanced energy economy. Join the conversation!

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