Electricity Policy

       

Thu10232014

Last update08:42:08 PM

ISSN 2331-1223 Facebook Twitter

  • pdfs
  • Affordable
  • Subscribe

Major Articles

  • Pause
  • Previous
  • Next
1/6

Additional Articles

Demand Response is Alive and Well: DR Opportunities in a Post-Order 745 World

Demand Response is Alive and Well: DR Opportunities in a Post-Order 745 World

By Greg Wikler, Stuart Schare, and Brett Feldman

Whatever the outcome of litigation to redress the effects of the D.C. Circuit panel’s decision voiding FERC Order 745, the economic and operational benefits of demand response are so great that many opportunities remain for this largely untapped resource.
W

hile the jury is still out on whether the recent D.C. Circuit panel’s decision to overturn FERC Order 745 will withstand an appeals process, many commentators have questioned whether the decision spells the end of demand response (DR) as we know it.  This paper provides a number of reasons for those in the DR industry to be hopeful.

Download a PDF of this article? Click here.

Read more

Three Years of Residential Electric Choice in Illinois, with Opt-Out Aggregation, Yields Results: A Status Report

Three Years of Residential Electric Choice in Illinois, with Opt-Out Aggregation, Yields Results: A Status Report

By Ann McCabe

Illinois residents are becoming accustomed to seeking the best deal for electricity service from an alternate supplier. Beginning in 2011, the ability of cities and towns to contract electric service for their residents through muni aggregation has led to two-thirds of residential customers being served by alternate suppliers. 
D

uring the last three years, residential electric switching increased dramatically in Illinois.  By the end of May 2014, more than 3 million residential customers received their electricity from a non-utility provider.  These customers represent about two-thirds of all residential customers; the actual population that switched is significantly greater than the number of meters given the average household size in Illinois.  Illinois has a population of 12.8 million.

Download a PDF of this article? Click here.

Read more

Preserving Economic Demand Response: Promptly and Lawfully

Preserving Economic Demand Response: Promptly and Lawfully

 By Scott Hempling

The value of economic demand response is so great that our collective interests should not wait on lengthy appeals of a D.C. Circuit panel’s decision to preserve this option.  Instead, FERC, the states, utilities, generators, and Congress have alternatives to continue this cost-saving practice without running afoul of the D.C. Circuit’s action.
T

he day before my first appellate argument, at the Ninth Circuit in April 1989, I went to court to observe.  One pair of opponents, having finished before the judges, continued arguing in the hallway.   We could keep arguing too, for the months and years that will pass while the full D.C. Circuit and the Supreme Court review last month’s D.C. Circuit panel opinion.  Or we can bear down and find ways to make demand response work.  This essay proposes some actions, categorized according to who can take them: generators, FERC, retail utilities, states, municipalities and Congress.

Download a PDF of this article? Click here. 

Read more

The State and Promise of Energy Storage

The State and Promise of Energy Storage

by Ken Dragoon

There are many potential avenues to developing economically viable options for energy storage. Reaching any of these goals will be a powerfully transformative element of a more modern and efficient electricity grid.
E

nergy storage has become one of the hottest topics in the electric power industry today, as evidenced by a burgeoning number of new studies, conferences, technological breakthroughs and new policies.  The interest in energy storage is inevitably linked to rapidly rising penetration levels of variable energy resources—primarily wind and solar.  Perhaps the most significant recent development is California’s adoption of  an energy storage procurement target for the state’s three investor-owned utilities to acquire 1,325 MW of energy storage by 2020.

Read more

Tracking the Consumer Value of Smart Grid Deployment in Illinois and Beyond

Tracking the Consumer Value of Smart Grid Deployment in Illinois and Beyond

 

by Raya Salter

With huge investments needed to modernize the electricity grid, it’s imperative that all parties at interest have a voice both in determining the rules by which utility improvements are judged and ensuring that the environmental and efficiency promises of the smart grid are achieved.
W

ithin the last decade, several states, including Illinois, began considering or adopting laws and regulations to enable utility investment in smart grid technologies.  The Electricity Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2011 (EIMA) ushered in $3.2 billion in smart grid investments for the Illinois utilities, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and Ameren Illinois (Ameren).  EIMA produced the largest electric infrastructure investment Illinois utilities will have made in a generation.  The law was the product of negotiations and collaboration between several stakeholders, including the two utilities and consumer advocates. Ultimately, EIMA mandated performance rates, including express metrics for success, designed to ensure that the investments deliver consumer benefits within a 10-year time frame.

Download a PDF of this article? Click here.

Read more

Electricity Daily

Will key 345 kV Missouri line segment come under Missouri PSC regulation?

Will key 345 kV Missouri line segment come under Missouri PSC regulation?

By Robert Marritz

October 23, 2014— Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green said earlier this week that he will rule against a subsidiary of Ameren Corp. in a legal issue concerning the need for state regulators to approve a 100-mile, 345 kV power line. Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois is planning to build the line across northeast Missouri to the Iowa border.

Ameren has sought a judicial declaration ...

Read more

Passages: Macfarlane to leave NRC; D.C. Circuit acts on appealed FERC orders

Passages: Macfarlane to leave NRC; D.C. Circuit acts on appealed FERC orders

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Allison M. Macfarlane announced Tuesday that she would leave the commission and return to academia at the end of the year, a little more than a year after she survived a difficult confirmation process. Macfarlane, a geologist with a strong background in nuclear waste issues, will become the director of the Center for International Science and Technology Pol...

Read more

FERC accepts BPA’s latest plan for grid operations in wind, hydro oversupply

FERC accepts BPA’s latest plan for grid operations in wind, hydro oversupply

Co-op and public power representatives are cautiously optimistic about a pair of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission orders that address how Bonneville Power Administration can balance the Pacific Northwest power grid during episodes of simultaneous excess wind energy generation and hydro production, according to ECT.Coop.

Read more

NREL-LBL report: Solar PV prices fell 12-19% last year; in 2014 they'll be lower yet

NREL-LBL report: Solar PV prices fell 12-19% last year; in 2014 they'll be lower yet

Distributed solar PV system prices dropped by 12% to 19% nationwide last year, according to a new report by the U.S. Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The 3rd edition of the jointly written report on PV pricing trends, “Photovoltaic (PV) Pricing Trends: Historical, Recent, and Near-Term Projections (2014 Edition),” predicts anot...

Read more

Microgrid feeds desert Marine center; other bases seek secure supply solutions

Microgrid feeds desert Marine center; other bases seek secure supply solutions

Fear that utility companies remain vulnerable to hackers, terrorists and natural disasters has the Pentagon pushing construction of microgrids at military bases across the US, including one nearing completion at the Marine Corps combat center in Twentynine Palms, Calif. The base, home to about 22,000 people and spread across 1,100 square miles of the Mojave Desert, the Wall Street Journal reported , ...

Read more

CPS Energy turns to a wholesale model for solar, renting customers’ rooftops

CPS Energy turns to a wholesale model for solar, renting customers’ rooftops

By Robert Marritz

October 22, 2014—After two controversial attempts to change net metering policy in San Antonio, CPS Energy, the city’s public power utility, believes it has found a new incentive model for solar that local solar installers can support. 

Read more

Editorials

Teaching the ‘Duck’ to Fly

Teaching the ‘Duck’ to Fly

With apologies to economist Jim Lazar for appropriating the title of his excellent paper, “ Teaching the ‘Duck’ to Fly ,” recently a featured work on the Regulatory Assistance Project website—and to our readers for not pointing your attention to this paper sooner—we shamelessly steal from Shakespeare as well: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy....

Read more

Regulators and the regulated: Has the bright line of propriety become hazy today?

Regulators and the regulated: Has the bright line of propriety become hazy today?

One of the country’s leading utility regulatory agencies, the California Public Utilities Commission, has its hands full. A fireball burst from a Pacific Gas & Electric pipeline 1,000 feet in the air in San Bruno on Thursday, September 9, 2010, killed eight people, flattened dozens of homes, and destroyed a neighborhood. It has now burst into flame again, ending the career of the commission’s ...

Read more

Regulation and Competition in a Time of Change: A Meditation

Regulation and Competition in a Time of Change: A Meditation

Last week I had the privilege of attending the annual meeting of the Northwest and Intermountain Power Producers Coalition, which is known for its informality, candid and illuminating talk, and a generally good time. I even had the opportunity to moderate a panel, “Creating Opportunity in a Time of Change,” featuring UBS utility and IPP analyst, Julien Dumoulin-Smith, and the chairman of the Washi...

Read more

The Ohio proposals: Are some suppliers unable to weather market conditions?

The Ohio proposals: Are some suppliers unable to weather market conditions?

The nation’s regional transmission operators generally do a fine job of managing a complex, interdependent grid system and its related power and power services markets. These RTOs and independent system operators (one wishes we would settle on one term) bring order to a Balkanized system of plants, wires, and ownerships. The ISOs and RTOs reduce reserve requirements and provide transmission and ot...

Read more

FERC decisions can’t trump state regulators’ prudence reviews

FERC decisions can’t trump state regulators’ prudence reviews

The Supreme Court’s decision to deny Kansas City Power & Light’s petition for review of lower court decisions upholding Missouri’s disallowance of costs that had been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission interested us; it seemed to cry out for a further look. But on that further look it became clear that KCP&L’s case was simply the proverbial “dog that won’t hunt.”

The case,...

Read more

Climate change, near-term and long-term

Climate change, near-term and long-term

Which is more dangerous, carbon or methane? Odysseus’s choice or Sophie’s Choice?

An excellent op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times by Justin Gillis, “Picking Lesser of Two Climate Evils,” addresses the debate in the scientific community about whether it is more important to control carbon in the atmosphere or methane. Both positions have their advocates, but there is no question that carbon, the less...

Read more

ElectricityPolicy.com: 
THE online version of a scholarly industry publication with a plethora of additional benefits.  
In addition to publishing full-length downloadable articles; ElectricityPolicy.com compiles relevant and developing news stories every day and provides a forum for industry members to discuss, network, and collaborate.  
A powerful time saving tool for 
  • Utility and independent power executives;
  • Federal and state regulators;
  • Consultants and lawyers;
  • Academics specializing in the field; and
  • Sophisticated customer and environmental representatives