Advanced Energy Perspectives

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

The Next Big Energy Innovation May Not Be A Gadget

Posted by Malcolm Woolf

Nov 7, 2018 12:15:00 PM

powerlines-sunset-Tom-Burke-cropped-730

Photo by Tom Burke, used under a Creative Commons license

The most important innovation coming along in electricity may not be a cutting-edge technology or a first-in-the-nation government policy. Rather, it might be a subtle, yet transformative, change in the way utilities meet their resource needs. Instead of prescribing specific technologies to meet future demand – typically, power plants of a particular type – and buying it or building it themselves, utilities are increasingly defining their needs and allowing all technologies and services that can meet those needs to slug it out. It’s an approach that can save money for customers, relieve regulators of unnecessary risk, and open up opportunities for advanced energy companies of all kinds.

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Topics: utility, Regulation, 21st Century Electricity System

Ohio Powers Forward With Utility Reform Process, But There’s Much Left To Do

Posted by Coley Girouard

Oct 30, 2018 1:32:00 PM

PowerForward Screenshot-730

In August, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) released a report on Ohio’s electricity future, the product of an initiative coined PowerForward. The PowerForward report is a milestone in the state’s effort to revolutionize Ohio’s electrical grid, improve reliability and resilience, and incorporate new, innovative technologies to enhance the customer experience. AEE and our member companies have been involved all along the way. The process is far from finished, but the PowerForward roadmap points in the right direction – toward a modernized electric power grid, with utilities regulated in ways that take advantage of advanced energy technologies and services.  

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, PUCs, utility, Regulation

Make or Buy for Utilities: Putting Services and Capital Investments on a Level Playing Field

Posted by Danny Waggoner

Jul 26, 2018 10:14:57 AM

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Image by Stormotion.io, used under a Creative Commons license

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

Throughout the economy, businesses rely heavily on services to fulfill their needs. In the utility sector, however, the use of services has taken hold more slowly, especially when those services reduce the need for capital investment in their systems. At the heart of the matter is the way utilities recover costs and generate earnings. At stake is faster adoption of modern technology, better service, a more efficient system, and lower costs for customers.

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Topics: Regulation, utility, 21st Century Electricity System

Top 10 Utility Regulation Trends of 2018 – So Far

Posted by Coley Girouard

Jul 18, 2018 11:09:35 AM

powerlines-sunset-Tom-Burke-cropped-730

Photo by Tom Burke, used under a Creative Commons license

In December, we published a list of the top 10 utility regulation trends of 2017. With half of 2018 already in the rearview mirror, we check in on the top public utility commission (PUC) actions and trends so far this year.

Not surprisingly, the challenges PUCs are grappling with are diverse: moving toward a cleaner grid, adopting foundational electric vehicle policies, investigating utility business model reforms, exploring the integration of new technologies such as energy storage, and increasing customer choice when it comes to sourcing their energy, just to name a few. Without further ado, here is a status check on the top 10 matters before PUCs in 2018 so far.

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, 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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