Performance-Based Regulation: Getting Down to Business Model Reform in Colorado

September 18, 2019  |  By Cory Felder and Dan Cross-Call RMI This Spring, Colorado ascended to the top tier of state-led clean energy policy in the United States. In the final days of May, Governor Jared Polis signed 11 bills ushering in a wave of key policy changes to advance decarbonization and clean energy in the state. The legislature codified an electricity sector greenhouse gas (GHG) …

Transitioning off gas: system transitions

https://gridworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/CA_Gas_System_in_Transition.pdf California needs to acknowledge these emerging trends and begin formulating a gas system transition plan. Prudent long-term planning and management of the gas transition will allow us to minimize and stabilize rate increases. The consequences of failing to do so would be detrimental for California’s economy, causing energy cost inflation, industry destabilization, job loss, and significant hardship for the …

Legislation establishing an Independent System Operator (ISO) to manage the electric transmission grid in Colorado

This document describes an idea of central importance to Colorado’s energy future:  a statewide unified transmission grid managed by a non-profit Independent System Operator (ISO) under a common transmission tariff. The purpose of this document is to explain the concept and attract the attention of one or more legislators who are knowledgeable about energy and might appreciate how transformative a …

While Xcel claims it will get to 80% renewable by 2030, it is asking the Colorado PUC to charge ratepayers for hundreds of millions of dollars on coal and gas plants–and to earn 10.35% return on the equity portion of those expenditures

This testimony submitted in Xcel’s current request to increase its rates in Colorado (Docket 19AL-0268E) provides important background information on Xcel with numerous references to source documents.  While Xcel has stated its intention to reduce its carbon, what it is actually doing is asking the Colorado PUC to charge its customers for hundreds of millions of dollars of expenditures on coal and …

Planning for distributed renewable energy

Gridworks excerpt: California’s AB327 added a new section to the Public Utilities Code, Sec. 769, to require utilities to submit to the commission by July 1, 2015, a distribution resources plan proposal, to identify optimal locations for the deployment of distributed resources.  Further, these plans should form the basis for utility investment requests in future general rate cases.  The bill …

A Southern Governor’s Climate and Clean Energy Plan Aims for Zero Emissions: NC’s Republican-controlled legislature remains an obstacle to big changes, so the administration is looking for short-term wins

This week, for example, state regulators put pressure on North Carolina’s largest utility to weigh the governor’s greenhouse gas reduction goals in its future energy plans.   The Governor’s plan calls for transforming the electrical grid to save energy and make it more resilient; reducing the energy burdens of low-income residents; and cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by …

sonnen & Wasatch Group Launch Largest Residential Virtual Power Plant At 12.6 MWh August 27th, 2019 by Kyle Field, Clean Technica  A new community of apartments in Herriman, Utah is being built from the ground up with a next generation energy storage system thanks to 12.6 megawatt-hours of sonnen’s ecoLinx battery systems. The new system will aggregate the energy storage and power …

Rooftop solar energy brings a wide variety of benefits to the grid and to society

Frontier Group, Aug 2019, excerpt Many value-of-solar studies, however – especially those conducted by electric utilities – have left out key benefits of solar energy. Policymakers and members of the public who consult these studies may be left with a false impression of solar energy’s value to the grid and society, with damaging results for public policy. To make decisions …

Maine discusses legislation that would purchase the state’s two investor owned utilities (IOUs) and move instead toward a customer-owned utility model. Meanwhile Chicago explores municipalization.

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive, March 18, 2019 Maine lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill to eliminate gross metering in the state and reestablish net metering for solar customers, sending it to Gov. Janet Mills, D, for likely signature. The bill restores “decades old policy of net metering” which was “rolled back in a very awkward fashion” under the previous administration, said …

Bernie Sanders’ plan calls to seize public production of power

The for-profit companies that reign over our energy system now have shown no meaningful sign of being willing to transform our energy system; they are much more interested in shareholder gains and business as usual. Together, for-profit utilities and fossil fuel companies have created powerful political-economic machines across the country to solidify the status quo of extraction and extortion. In contrast, democratic public …