What Would a Regional Electricity Market Do for the West? Plenty

Posted by Amisha Rai on Aug 2, 2022 1:00:00 PM

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As the West deals with a record-setting heat wave that is fueling catastrophic droughts and wildfires and is testing the limits of America's aging power grid, our team at AEE is focused on how we can improve grid resilience and connect more clean energy by establishing a regional transmission organization (RTO) to operate the power grid for Western states. Now, we can say with certainty just what the West would gain in savings, jobs, and economic growth - and it’s a lot.

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, Economic Impact

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

In PJM, Renewable Energy Projects Are Getting Stuck

Posted by Jeff Dennis and Kat Burnham on Feb 10, 2022 11:00:00 AM

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Like anyone in construction, renewable energy developers are all too familiar with process hurdles and delays. But patience wears thin. In the vast PJM Interconnection region stretching from DC to Illinois, a huge pool of solar, wind, and battery storage projects are stuck in the grid operator’s Interconnection queue, often waiting years for technical and cost studies and final approvals needed to connect to the grid. This usually behind-the-scenes issue moved to center stage this month when PJM proposed a dramatic step: a two-year pause on formally accepting new interconnection applications so that the grid operator can focus on speeding up delayed projects and clearing some of the backlog. That pause will come with much needed improvements to PJM’s processes to speed up future interconnection requests. Those improvements won’t solve all the problems with PJM’s interconnection process, but they are a good start, and they can’t come soon enough.

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Topics: Federal Policy, 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