Why Wholesale Markets are Important to an Advanced Energy Future

Posted by Jeff Dennis on Sep 2, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Wholesale Market RTO-745

Friction between organized wholesale electricity markets operated by Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (RTOs/ISOs) and the trend – driven by policy, technology, and market forces – toward cleaner energy options have generated plenty of headlines in recent years. The barriers to entry that advanced energy technologies sometimes face in wholesale markets have come into stark relief, as federal policies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR), legacy market rules and market designs, and efforts to use the levers of federal power to prop up aging uneconomic power plants and put new regulatory barriers in front of clean energy resources collide with rapidly increasing state and customer ambitions to switch to clean energy.    

Despite these conflicts, competitive wholesale markets have still shown themselves to be a platform to integrate new technologies, increase transparency, and harness competitive forces over broad geographic regions to scale development of low-cost advanced energy technologies, improve customer access to those technologies, and replace uneconomic existing fossil fuel plants. FERC opened these markets to full participation by energy storage resources with its Order No. 841, creating a 40 GW opportunity to scale up development of technology that will be instrumental in the 100% clean energy grid of the future. And outside of FERC, RTO/ISO stakeholder processes are moving ahead on their own to reform market rules and operating practices to integrate transformative hybrid solar/wind-plus-storage power plants and consider a role for carbon pricing in the markets, providing a forum for discussions and market design progress not available in other regions.   

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Topics: Wholesale Markets

Top 10 Utility Regulation Trends of 2020 – So Far

Posted by Hannah Polikov and AEE Regulatory Team on Aug 26, 2020 9:30:56 AM

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In December, we published a list of the top 10 utility regulation trends of 2019. With 2020 now past the halfway point, we check in on the top public utility commission (PUC) actions and trends so far this year. Ten trends stand above the rest, from the impact of COVID on everything, to a growing trend in electric vehicle make-ready investments, to an increasing number of states implementing 100% clean energy targets. And, for the first time, we are including in our curation a key trend in federal regulation of wholesale electricity markets, as it goes directly to the question of who is in charge of energy policy in a changing electricity landscape. Prepare to settle in, as here is the full round-up of the top 10 utility regulation trends so far in 2020.

Note: some links in this post reference PUC filings and other documents in AEE's software platform, PowerSuite. Click here to sign up for a free trial.

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Topics: PUCs, 21st Century Electricity System, Regulatory, Wholesale Markets

New York’s $701 Million Program for EV Charging, By the Numbers

Posted by Claire Alford on Aug 19, 2020 10:03:31 AM

NY EVSE incentives-745

Last summer, New York passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which adopted the country’s most ambitious climate targets, including 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 and economy-wide, net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. With transportation as New York’s largest emission sector, accounting for nearly one-third of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, transportation electrification is an absolute necessity for meeting those goals. Several years ago, New York set a goal of deploying 850,000 zero-emission vehicles by 2025. Now, thanks to a big new incentive program, the Empire State is going to get ready to charge up all those electric vehicles.

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Topics: Advanced Transportation

In Indiana, Candidates Look Beyond Coal to See Advanced Energy Opportunity

Posted by Dylan Reed and Caryl Auslander on Aug 12, 2020 4:28:39 PM

IN candidate ed Zay-745AEE members and staff hold virtual meeting with Indiana state Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington), now a candidate for re-election.

Indiana has quietly become a major market for advanced energy. Two utilities, the Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) and Vectren, have announced plans to shift their resource mix from predominantly coal to mostly advanced energy resources, including wind, solar, storage, and demand side management. This shift is largely driven by economics, as the two utilities have estimated that ratepayers will save over $4.3 billion from these investments. But in the past two sessions, the Indiana legislature has been consumed with legislation aimed at delaying the retirement of uneconomic coal plants. While AEE has been actively engaged in opposing such legislation, which would prevent investment in advanced energy resources, and had some success in making the law passed last year less harmful, this engagement has also made us recognize that policymakers need to learn more about the benefits advanced energy can bring to Indiana – and the best time to teach them is when they’re running for office. 

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Topics: State Policy Update, Candidate Education 2020

How Wholesale Electricity Markets Can Get Us to a 100% Clean Energy Future

Posted by Prusha Hasan and Dylan Reed on Jul 21, 2020 9:38:39 AM

CLEAN Future Act blog post Final-730

Over the past two years, climate change has resurfaced as a top policy priority in Congress with policymakers from both parties offering ways to reduce carbon emissions. AEE has actively engaged in this conversation, testifying to Congress on how the country can achieve a 100% clean energy future in the power sector cost effectively. While many, including AEE, have focused on the need to establish a strong and enforceable target for meeting a 100% clean future, less attention has been paid to the ways wholesale electricity markets could drive toward this target, lowering consumers costs, expanding consumer access to clean energy, and reducing carbon emissions. That is, until now, as federal lawmakers are turning to expansion and improvement of wholesale markets as well as reducing barriers for advanced energy to access these markets as part of their plans.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Wholesale Markets