A Cost-Allocation Win in New York for Distributed Energy Resources

Posted by Danny Waggoner on Apr 28, 2022 9:30:00 AM

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On March 16, the New York Public Service Commission quietly adopted a significant advancement in rate design. It did so as a result of a long proceeding on standby and buyback rates, in which AEE argued that owners of distributed generation not eligible for net metering (such as standalone storage facilities and institutions with combined-heat-and-power systems) were being overcharged for the customer-specific components of those rates. While the PSC action seemingly addressed a technical matter, the impact is a big win for advanced energy in New York, as it will lead to new rates much more favorable for a range of distributed energy resources (DERs).

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Topics: State Policy, PUCs, 21st Century Electricity System, Utility, Regulatory

With Fossil Fuel Plants Overvalued, It’s Time to Get Capacity Right

Posted by Kat Burnham on Apr 14, 2022 10:30:00 AM

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Grid operators today are managing a changing portfolio mix while facing new system reliability challenges, such as extreme weather events occurring with greater frequency. As the clean energy transition accelerates, it’s vital that grid operators accurately understand how much they can count on different generating resources. They do so by evaluating the resource adequacy, or capacity value, of the resources available to determine how to meet total demand. But what happens when those methods of valuing capacity overlook certain outage risks? Some generating resources gain more reliability credit than they deserve. That is indeed happening with conventional power plants (coal, oil, and natural gas), which may be overvalued by as much as 20% under traditional methods. As new analysis commissioned by AEE shows, it’s time to get capacity right.

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Topics: Regulatory, Wholesale Markets

How to Prepare the Distribution System for DER Participation in Wholesale Markets

Posted by Lisa Frantzis, Priya Sreedharan, and Josh Keeling on Feb 28, 2022 2:00:00 PM

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On September 17, 2020, FERC issued Order 2222, directing the grid operators under its jurisdiction to pave the way for aggregations of distributed energy resources (DERs) into wholesale markets. Recognizing that implementation of Order 2222 requires transmission and distribution system coordination and active engagement from state utility regulators as well, AEE and GridLab convened distribution utilities and AEE members for eight months to build consensus around key distribution system issues. The focus areas of the discussion included interconnection and aggregation review; communications, controls, and coordination; dual participation in both retail programs and wholesale markets; and investment recovery and cost causation. The result is a new understanding of the challenges in making DER participation in wholesale markets work, and ways that utilities, regulators, and industry can work together to overcome them.

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Topics: State Policy, PUCs, Utility, Regulatory, Wholesale Markets

Nevada’s grid of the future should be part of an RTO

Posted by Sarah Steinberg on Jan 10, 2022 1:00:00 PM

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Right now, Nevada’s electric grid operates more or less as an island, and the households and businesses that rely on that island are increasingly at risk of being stranded. Except under limited circumstances, the state’s utilities must produce enough of their own electricity to meet their customers’ needs, then transport that energy using their own poles and wires. This situation not only requires Nevadans to pay for more electricity infrastructure than they should, but also leaves them particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events.

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Topics: State Policy, Regulatory, Wholesale Markets

New Year, New Texas Grid?

Posted by Suzanne Bertin on Jan 5, 2022 3:00:00 PM

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With 2021 in the rearview mirror and colder weather returning to the Lone Star State, it's a good time to take stock of how Texas regulators responded to the electricity grid crisis following Winter Storm Uri. Heading into 2022, Texans want to feel secure that their lights will stay on, and that’s exactly what Governor Abbott has promised. But is there good reason to feel secure? See where Texas took positive steps forward for advanced energy, and where regulators should resolve to do better in the New Year.

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Topics: State Policy, Regulatory, Wholesale Markets, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, Texas