Category Archives: Connecticut Power and Energy Society (CPES)

CPES Policy Committee Update: October 3, 2017

This update features policy, regulatory, legislative, and regional developments in Connecticut and New England. The policy updates are compiled by the CPES New Energy Professionals Team. If you are interested in learning more about the New Energy Professionals, the Policy Committee, or if you have ideas for future policy updates, we would welcome your input and feedback. Please send comments to Kathryn Dube, CPES Executive Director, via email: kdube@ctpower.org.

In this Update:

  • U.S. Department of Energy Proposes Grid Resiliency Rule for FERC Action
  • First Round Comments on DEEP’s draft 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy Available

REGIONAL AND INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS

U.S. Department of Energy Proposes Grid Resiliency Rule for FERC Action

On September 29, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) directing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) to issue a final rule to “ensure that the reliability and resiliency attributes of generation with on-site fuel supplies are fully valued.” The NOPR pointed to the significant number of retirements of fuel-secure generation and stated that the rule must provide for “recovery of costs of fuel-secure generation units frequently relied upon to make our grid reliable and resilient.”

DOE is requiring the Commission to consider and take final action on the proposed rule within 60 days from the date of publication of the NOPR in the Federal Register. In the alternative, DOE urges the Commission to issue the rule as an interim final rule, effective immediately, with provision for later modifications after consideration of public comments.  

First Round Comments Available

The first round of comments on the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) draft 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy were due September 25, 2017. The comments are available on the DEEP webpage at the following link: http://www.dpuc.state.ct.us/DEEPEnergy.nsf/$EnergyView?OpenForm&Start=1&Count=30&Expand=6.2&Seq=2

CPES Policy Committee Update: September 26, 2017

This update features policy, regulatory, legislative, and regional developments in Connecticut and New England. The policy updates are compiled by the CPES New Energy Professionals Team. If you are interested in learning more about the New Energy Professionals, the Policy Committee, or if you have ideas for future policy updates, we would welcome your input and feedback. Please send comments to Kathryn Dube, CPES Executive Director, via email: kdube@ctpower.org.

In this Update:

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Activity: U.S. Senate Energy Committee Sends FERC Nominees to Full Senate
  • Update on Millstone Power Station
  • CT Budget: Energy Industry Impact

REGIONAL AND INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS

FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION ACTICITY: U.S. SENATE ENERGY COMMITTEE SEND FERC NOMINEES TO FULL SENATE
On September 19, 2017, the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee approved two nominees to serve as commissioners on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)—Kevin McIntyre and Richard Glick. McIntyre, a republican who will be designated as chairman, has been nominated to two terms ending in 2023. The Committee held a nomination hearing for McIntyre and Glick on September 7. The nominations now head to the Senate floor.

If confirmed, McIntyre and Glick will join Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and Robert Powelson, and Acting Chairman Neil Chatterjee, returning a full complement of five commissioners to FERC.

CONNECTICUT

MILLSTONE POWER STATION UPDATE
The fireworks continue in the joint DEEP-PURA proceeding to study the economic viability of Millstone Station. Last week, in a response to a series of data requests from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), Dominion declined to answer a majority of inquiries about its revenue, expenses, cash flow and earnings. “Dominion Energy will not provide competitively sensitive or proprietary information related to this request … at this time,” the company wrote. DEEP and PURA staff will likely be forced to move forward using estimates based on public information. See articles from Hartford Business Journal and the Courant.

CONNECTICUT BUDGET: IMPACT ON THE ENERGY INDUSTRY
The Republican budget, that passed in dramatic fashion, includes a provision to remove PURA from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which has existed as a single agency since 2011. As passed, the bill also eliminates statutory authorization of the Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy. The Republican budget: (1) Reduces rates and decreases costs for Connecticut’s ratepayers, (2) ensures the reliability and safety of our state’s energy supply, (3) increases the use of clean energy and technologies that support clean energy, and (4) develops the state’s energy-related economy. The head of such authority shall be the chairperson elected in accordance with section 16-2 of the state statutes. Despite passing both the House and the Senate, Governor Malloy has threatened to veto the budget. See article from WNPR

CPES Policy Committee Update: September 18, 2017

This update features policy, regulatory, legislative, and regional developments in Connecticut and New England. The policy updates are compiled by the CPES New Energy Professionals Team. If you are interested in learning more about the New Energy Professionals, the Policy Committee, or if you have ideas for future policy updates, we would welcome your input and feedback. Please send comments to Kathryn Dube, CPES Executive Director, via email: kdube@ctpower.org.

In this Update:

  • New Clustering Methodology Proposed for ISO New England’s Interconnection Procedures
  • 2017 Draft Comprehensive Energy Strategy Comments due by September 25

REGIONAL AND INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS

NEW CLUSTERING METHODOLOGY PROPOSED FOR ISO NEW ENGLAND’S INTERCONNECTION PROCEDURES
Earlier this month, ISO New England, jointly with the New England Power Pool Participants Committee and the Participating Transmission Owners Administrative Committee, filed proposed tariff changes to incorporate a new clustering methodology in the ISO’s interconnection procedures. When specific conditions are present in the ISO’s interconnection queue, the proposed methodology would allow two or more interconnection requests to be analyzed in the same System Impact Study and for developers to share costs for certain interconnection-related transmission upgrades. Typically, each individual interconnection request involves complex and often lengthy engineering studies to identify the necessary system upgrades to accommodate the proposed resource. Therefore, at times, individual interconnection projects are not able or willing to make the necessary system upgrade investments.

The filing parties propose to first implement the clustering methodology to help move forward the backlog of interconnection requests experienced in Northern and Western Maine, where more than 5,800 megawatts of proposed new resources, mostly wind, are seeking to interconnect to the regional grid. For more information, visit the ISO Newswire.

2017 DRAFT COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY STRATEGY COMMENTS DUE 9/25

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released a draft of the 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) on June 26th. Comments are due by September 25th. Visit the DEEP website for more information.

CPES Policy Committee Update: September 11, 2017

This update features policy, regulatory, legislative, and regional developments in Connecticut and New England. The policy updates are compiled by the CPES New Energy Professionals Team. If you are interested in learning more about the New Energy Professionals, the Policy Committee, or if you have ideas for future policy updates, we would welcome your input and feedback. Please send comments to Kathryn Dube, CPES Executive Director, via email: kdube@ctpower.org.

In this Update:

  • Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Holds Nomination Hearing to Consider FERC Nominees
  • EIA: Electricity Prices Reflect Rising Delivery Costs, Declining Power Production Costs
  • 2017 CES Technical Meeting on September 13: Agenda

REGIONAL AND INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS

U.S. SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE HOLDS NOMINATION HEARING TO CONSIDER FERC NOMINEES

On September 7, 2017, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a nomination hearing to consider the nominations of Richard Glick and Kevin McIntyre to fill the two remaining seats on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The nominations of Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson were confirmed by the U.S. Senate in August, restoring a quorum to FERC for the first time since early February.  For more information, visit the FERC website.

EIA: ELECTRICITY PRICES REFLECT RISING DELIVERY COSTS, DECLINING POWER PRODUCTION COSTS

Over the past decade, retail electricity prices have not closely followed the costs of fuels used to generate electricity, such as coal or natural gas, mainly because of changes in the other costs involved with producing and delivering electricity in the United States.

The average retail price of electricity in the United States has risen about 1.5% per year between 2006 and 2016, about the same as the 1.6% per year general rate of inflation over those years. In contrast, natural gas prices for U.S. electric generators, a key component in the cost of generating electricity, have fallen at an average rate of 8.4% per year since 2006.

The cost of electricity reflects money spent on generation, transmission, distribution, and other plant-in-service additions, as well as plant operation and maintenance. Over the past decade, the portion of total electricity costs attributed to power production for most utilities has decreased from 69% to 54%, while the portion associated with delivering that electricity to customers has risen. These costs are based on financial reports filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by major utilities and represent about 70% of all electric utility spending.

Power production costs incurred by utilities include fuel costs; nonfuel costs, including the costs of building, upgrading, operating, and maintaining generators; and the costs of purchasing power from independently-owned generators or from power markets. While the fuel and purchased power costs have decreased over the decade with the decrease in natural gas prices, nonfuel costs have increased slightly.

Electricity delivery costs have increased in real 2016 dollar terms from 2.2 cents per kilowatthour (kWh) in 2006 to 3.2 cents/kWh in 2016, roughly offsetting the decrease in the generation cost. Delivery costs include:

  • Transmission expenses such as towers, poles, wires, substations, and communications equipment necessary to ensure reliable transmission of electricity from generators to neighborhoods
  • Expenses for distribution equipment to deliver electricity at lower voltages to households and businesses
  • Distribution expenses to install, operate, and maintain meters and sensors
  • Customer billing, education, relations, and other services that allow customers to participate in utility programs such as energy efficiency, rebate, and time-of-use pricing programs

Transmission and distribution costs have risen for several reasons. In many areas, aging electric infrastructure has been replaced with new equipment that allows utilities to repair faults on transmission lines remotely, to read meters remotely, and to more quickly find, repair, and communicate with customers about neighborhood reliability problems and outages. Other infrastructure has been built to improve reliability and resiliency, to connect to new sources of electricity generation (including wind and solar), and to reduce transmission-line congestion in quickly growing areas.

Other costs associated with electricity, such as administrative and general expenses, have also risen by 20% in real dollar terms since 2006, but these costs account for a smaller portion of the overall costs of providing electricity

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=32812
http://www.theenergycollective.com/todayinenergy/2412322/electricity-prices-reflect-rising-delivery-costs-declining-power-production-costs

CONNECTICUT

DATES SET FOR THE DRAFT 2017 COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY STRATEGY TECHNICAL HEARINGS
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released a draft of the 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) on June 26th. They will hold a technical meeting on September 13, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. in Hearing Room 1, at DEEP’s New Britain Office, Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, Connecticut Directions to DEEP’s New Britain Office. The purpose of the technical meetings are to allow stakeholders an opportunity to present oral comments and to pose questions to DEEP staff and consultants involved in the preparation of the analytics and the findings in the draft Strategy. DEEP requests that you RSVP and send your questions to DEEP.EnergyBureau@ct.gov three business days prior to the scheduled date if you plan on attending and/or participating in any of the scheduled technical meetings. Visit the DEEP website for more information.

CPES Policy Committee Update: August 28, 2017

This update features policy, regulatory, legislative, and regional developments in Connecticut and New England. The policy updates are compiled by the CPES New Energy Professionals Team. If you are interested in learning more about the New Energy Professionals, the Policy Committee, or if you have ideas for future policy updates, we would welcome your input and feedback. Please send comments to Kathryn Dube, CPES Executive Director, via email: kdube@ctpower.org.

In this Update:

  • RGGI States Announced Proposed Program Changes Beginning in 2021
  • United State Department of Energy Releases Report on Electric Grid Reliability and Resilience
  • 2017 CES Technical Meeting: September 13

REGIONAL AND INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS

RGGI STATES ANNOUNCE PROPOSED PROGRAM CHANGES BEGINNING IN 2021
On August 23, 2017, the nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) announced proposed changes to the program beginning in 2021. The proposed changes, stemming from a 2016 Program Review, include a regional cap of 75,147,784 tons of CO2 in 2021, which will decline by 2.275 million tons of CO2 per year through 2030, resulting in a 30% reduction in the regional cap from 2020 to 2030. Additional adjustments have been proposed to account for the full bank of excess allowances at the end of 2020, as well as other proposed modifications.

The RGGI states will seek stakeholder comment on the draft program elements in a public meeting scheduled for September 25. Materials, including a stakeholder meeting notice and a supplementary table of year-by-year regional numbers, are posted to the RGGI, Inc. website.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY RELEASES REPORT ON ELECTRIC GRID RELIABILITY AND RESILIENCE
On August 23, 2017, the US Department of Energy (DOE) released a report focused on a variety of challenges impacting the reliability and resilience of the electric grid. The report was initiated by the Secretary of Energy in April, with a focus on the effects of various economic and political factors on electric grid operations, including baseload generation powered by nuclear and coal.

The report highlights the significant impact of lower-cost natural gas on the retirement of generators that previously operated as baseload generation. The report also discusses the impacts of lower electricity demand (in part due to investments in energy efficiency), increased output from renewable resources, and various environmental regulations on nuclear and coal-fired power plants. DOE makes several recommendations for ways to improve reliability and resiliency, including for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to move forward with efforts to improve price formation in wholesale markets and potentially find ways to compensate assets providing important reliability characteristics.

The full report is available at: https://energy.gov/staff-report-secretary-electricity-markets-and-reliability

CONNECTICUT

DATES SET FOR THE DRAFT 2017 COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY STRATEGY TECHNICAL HEARINGS
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released a draft of the 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) on June 26th. They will hold a technical meeting on September 13, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. in Hearing Room 1, at DEEP’s New Britain Office, Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, Connecticut Directions to DEEP’s New Britain Office. The purpose of the technical meetings are to allow stakeholders an opportunity to present oral comments and to pose questions to DEEP staff and consultants involved in the preparation of the analytics and the findings in the draft Strategy. DEEP requests that you RSVP and send your questions to DEEP.EnergyBureau@ct.gov three business days prior to the scheduled date if you plan on attending and/or participating in any of the scheduled technical meetings. Visit the DEEP website for more information.

NEP: Energy Legislation 101: The Process and What Passed in 2017


Half Day Event, 9am – Noon
Connecticut Legislative Office Building
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Lobbying 101 Presentation 

Wrap Up:

CPES Holds Second 101 Series Event for New Energy Professionals!

On September 28, 2017, the Connecticut Power and Energy Society’s New Energy Professionals Committee hosted “Energy Legislation 101: The Process and What Passed in 2017” at the Legislative Office Building and State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut. Energy Legislation 101 is the second in a series of informational sessions established to assist recently joined CPES members and those new to the industry as they become acclimated and involved within the organization. The overarching goal of the 101 series is to provide a meaningful overview of state agencies and businesses with whom professionals in the industry interact. While the event was geared toward New Energy Professionals, many established professionals were also in attendance.

The day began with an overview of the legislative process in Connecticut from Melissa Biggs, a partner at DePino, Nunez & Biggs, LLC, and Christopher Cordima, an attorney in the Connecticut Legislative Commissioners’ Office.

The overview was followed by a timely discussion of energy legislation that passed during the 2017 legislative session and what issues may arise next session. Joining the conversation were Senator Bob Duff, Representative Tim Ackert, Representative Holly Cheeseman, Representative Mike Demicco, Representative Stephen Harding, and Representative Jonathan Steinberg.  All serve on the General Assembly’s Energy & Technology Committee, Environment Committee, or both!

The day ended with a tour of the Legislative Office Building and State Capitol.

Blurb:
Please join us as Connecticut’s key energy and environment legislative staff and leaders offer a three-part Energy Legislation 101 to CPES New Energy Professionals*!  Come brush up on all the details of the legislative process.  Continue into a timely discussion of the bills which become effective as of October 1st.  Finish with a tour of the Legislative Office Building and Capitol.

This is a free event, but please register at your earliest convenience as space is limited.

Agenda:
9:00am – Networking, Coffee and Danish
(Second Floor Atrium of the Legislative Office Building)

9:30am – Energy Legislation 101:  Basics and Procedures (Hearing Room 2E)
Melissa Biggs, DePino, Nunez & Biggs, LLC
Christopher Cordima, CT Legislative Commissioners’ Office

10:00am – Current and Future Legislation Discussion: A detailed and timely conversation about the energy bills that just passed and become effective as of October 1st. (Hearing Room 2E)

11:15am: (Optional) The League of Women Voters is offering a tour of the Legislative Office Building and Capitol

*This group is not limited to age range or years of experience.  We welcome everyone to reach out to us.

The goal of the 101 series is to provide a meaningful overview of state agencies and businesses with whom professionals in our industry interact.  While this series was established with our New Energy Professionals in mind, all are welcome.” – Alex Isaac, NEP Group Member

 

CPES Policy Committee Update: July 25, 2017

This update features policy, regulatory, legislative, and regional developments in Connecticut and New England. The policy updates are compiled by the CPES New Energy Professionals Team. If you are interested in learning more about the New Energy Professionals, the Policy Committee, or if you have ideas for future policy updates, we would welcome your input and feedback. Please send comments to Kathryn Dube, CPES Executive Director, via email: kdube@ctpower.org.

In this Update:

  • MA Preliminary 2018 SREC I and II Minimum Standards and
    Solar Program Administrator RFP
  • Consumers Fare Better With Competitive Electricity Market

REGIONAL NEWS:

Solar Program Administrator RFP Posted
Earlier today, the electric distribution companies issued a Request for Proposals to select a Solar Program Administrator for the SMART program.  Interested bidders must be registered within the Eversource “SAP Ariba Sourcing” purchasing system. More details and a copy of the RFP can be found on DOER’s website.

Preliminary 2018 SREC I and II Minimum Standards
Pursuant to 225 CMR 14.07(2) and (3), the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is required to calculate the Solar Carve-out and Solar Carve-out II Compliance Obligations and Minimum Standards for each Compliance Year by no later than August 30th of the preceding year. As has been the practice to date, DOER announces a preliminary Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard prior to conducting the Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auctions (“Auctions”) each July. For Compliance Year 2018, the formula in 225 CMR 14.07(2)(g) will be used to calculate the Solar Carve-out Compliance Obligation, and the formula in 225 CMR 14.07(3)(e) and (f) will be used to calculate the Solar Carve-out II Compliance Obligation.DOER emphasizes that this is only a preliminary announcement and that final Minimum Standards will be announced no later than August 30th.  

Solar Carve-out (SREC I Program) Based on the information available at this time, DOER estimates that the 2018 Compliance Obligation for the SREC I Program will be approximately 838,995 MWh and that the Minimum Standard will be approximately 1.7903%. Should this year’s SREC I Auction not fully clear in the first two rounds, the 2018 Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard will be increased to 857,423 MWh and 1.8296%, respectively. The details of how this preliminary Minimum Standard was calculated are available on the DOER’s website. 

Solar Carve-out II (SREC II Program) Pursuant to 225 CMR 14.07(3)(a)1, all Retail Electricity Suppliers are exempt from any incremental obligations resulting from the provisions contained in the RPS Class I Emergency Regulation filed on April 8, 2016, which expanded the Solar Carve-out II (SREC II) Program Capacity Cap. As such, it is necessary for DOER to establish a baseline Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard that would have applied had the Emergency Regulation not been filed.
 
To determine this baseline Minimum Standard, DOER analyzed the percentage shares of MW qualified under each of the four SREC II Market Sectors at the time the extension was announced. DOER then multiplied these percentages by the original 947.7 MW SREC II Program Capacity Cap. DOER multiplied these totals by the applicable SREC Factors, a 13.71% expected capacity factor, and 8,760 hrs/year and determined the expected MWh/year that would have resulted had the SREC II Program Capacity Cap remained 947.7 MW. Lastly, DOER added the remaining auction certificates available from 2015 as well as the auction certificates and banked SREC II volume from the 2016 Compliance Filings. This yields a total baseline Compliance Obligation of 1,347,902 MWh and a Minimum Standard of 2.8762%

If the upcoming SREC II Auction does not fully clear in the first two rounds, the baseline Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard for 2018 will be 1,591,279 MWh and 3.3955%, respectively.  

Using all of the available information at this time, DOER has also calculated the preliminary 2018 SREC II Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard for load under contracts signed on or after May 8, 2016. DOER has determined that the Compliance Obligation will be approximately 1,923,743 MWh and that the Minimum Standard will be approximately 4.1049%. Should this year’s SREC II Auction not fully clear in the first two rounds, the 2018 Compliance Obligation and Minimum Standard will be increased to 2,167,120 MWh and 4.6242%, respectively. The details of how this preliminary Minimum Standard was calculated are also available on the DOER’s website.

Next Steps
The first rounds of both the SREC and SREC II Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auctions are scheduled to take place on July 24, 2017. Should these auctions not fully clear, second and third rounds will be held as necessary on July 25, 2017 and July 28, 2017, respectively. Once both auctions have concluded, DOER will be able to make its final determination of the Compliance Obligations and Minimum Standards for 2018. The announcement of these final Minimum Standards will occur no later than August 30, 2017. More information on the auctions taking place later this month is available on the DOER’s auction website.

OP-ED FROM MORNING CONSULT, JULY 12, 2017:
CPES does not take a position on this Op-Ed piece; this is provided for informational purposes only to CPES members.

Consumers Fare Better With Competitive Electricity Markets
DARRIN PFANNENSTIEL

Policymakers across the country are grappling with a stunning transition under way in the United States’ $380 billion electricity sector. Electricity consumption is flat, cleaner energy sources are dramatically increasing market share while nuclear and fossil fuel generation plants struggle to maintain economic viability, and new consumer-empowering technology innovations promise to transform how households and businesses use energy.

The U.S. electricity sector hasn’t seen such foment since 20 years ago, when state and federal policymakers began to introduce competitive reforms to the staid monopoly-regulated electric utility industry. While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission acted to establish the wholesale power markets that now dominate most of the country, many states acted to open up retail markets so that for the first time in more than a century electricity consumers could choose from among competing suppliers.

Indeed, until California’s well-intentioned but poorly conceived first-in-the-nation experience with electricity competition, it appeared that a majority of states across the country would restructure their electricity markets to enable competition. But after California, some states poised to enact restructuring declined to do so, and others that had adopted competitive reforms reversed course.

Nevertheless, slightly more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia, which account for one-third of all electricity generation and consumption in the country, persisted with the task. They learned from California’s mistakes and created vibrant retail competition programs that have grown and prospered over the past 20 years, benefiting consumers with abundant choices among increasingly innovative, clean and cost-competitive electricity product and service offerings.

So for two decades we’ve had what U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis described as laboratories of democracy at work, with one set of states preserving monopoly utility regulation while another set pursued competition and customer choice.

And as shown in a new white paper commissioned by the Retail Energy Supply Association, entitled “RESTRUCTURING RECHARGED — The Superior Performance of Competitive Electricity Markets 2008-2016,” the verdict is in: Consumers with competitive choice are disproportionately benefiting. Using U.S. Energy Information Administration data, the white paper by Philip R. O’Connor, Ph.D., former chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, found that competitive choice jurisdiction customers fared demonstrably better in terms of price, investment and efficiency than did those who remained under monopoly regulation.

Weighted average prices in the group of 35 monopoly states have risen nearly 15 percent while in the 14 competitive markets total weighted average prices have declined 8 percent. Inflation-adjusted price changes for major customer classes in choice and monopoly states are starkly different, declining 18 percent for customers in competitive jurisdictions compared to the experience in monopoly states.

It is no surprise then that relatively sophisticated commercial and industrial electricity customers have widely embraced competition, and we’ve a seen a majority of customers in those classes benefit by purchasing electricity from non-utility suppliers in competitive choice states, particularly as competition enables access to cleaner energy supply options. But residential customers are increasingly benefiting from the competitive marketplace too.

Between 2003 and 2008, the number of residential accounts served in competitive jurisdictions by non-utility providers more than tripled from about 2.3 million to 7.1 million, and more than doubled again since to average more than 16.4 million annually. For jobs-producing commercial and industrial customers, between 2003 and 2008 those served by non-utility suppliers grew 240 percent, from 436,000 to nearly 1.6 million. Since then we’ve seen a near doubling again with competitive commercial and industrial accounts averaging more than 2.9 million and exceeding 3 million in 2016.

Dr. O’Connor’s analysis also found a sharp contrast between the two sets of states in terms of innovation. Competitive choice jurisdictions are enabling innovation in customer-empowering alternatives such as “green” energy options and smart thermostats that allow customers to better manage how and when they use electricity. Monopoly utilities, meanwhile, are inherently inhospitable to innovation, his analysis found. This is especially important when one considers the many innovative ideas emerging from Silicon Valley that will power the electricity sector and consumers into a clean energy future.

It is against this backdrop of growing evidence that competitive markets are delivering real and tangible benefits in terms of pricing and innovation that policy makers in several states are beginning to consider once again taking steps to introduce competition in electricity to retail customers. Given the demonstrably superior performance of retail choice markets, a coming second wave of retail electricity market restructuring has begun, as evidenced by ongoing debates in Nevada and California.

Consumers want and expect choices. Given the stunning economic and technological transformation underway in the electricity industry, it makes little sense to cling to a monopoly regulatory model for electricity that is a vestige of 19th century economic thinking and a barrier to the efficient 21st century clean-energy economy that consumers and policymakers seek to embrace.

Darrin Pfannenstiel, senior vice president and associate general counsel for Stream, a Dallas-based competitive retail energy supplier, is president of the Retail Energy Supply Association, a broad and diverse group of retail energy suppliers who share the common vision that competitive retail electricity and natural gas markets deliver a more efficient, customer-oriented outcome than the regulated utility structure.

https://morningconsult.com/opinions/consumers-fare-better-competitive-electricity-markets/

Making Sense of Integrating Markets and Public Policy in New England (IMAPP): CPES / NEWIEE Joint Meeting

WRAP UP:

“Making Sense of IMAPP”
Integrating Markets and Public Policy in New England:

Sponsored by: Eversource, HQUS, Starion Energy, Robinson+Cole, DCO Energy, Globelé Energy, LLC
  

WRAP UP:
CPES and NEWIEE Host Joint Meeting on Integrating Markets and Public Policy (IMAPP) in New England

On September 13, 2017, the Connecticut Power and Energy Society (CPES) and New England Women in Energy and the Environment (NEWIEE) hosted a joint meeting in Hartford, Connecticut on an important regional topic—the integration of the region’s wholesale electricity markets with the public policy goals of the New England states. The meeting marked the third collaboration between CPES and NEWIEE, reflecting the organizations’ respective commitments to create opportunities to share information about hot topics in energy, while recognizing women who work in the industry. The panel discussion featured state and regional experts on energy, including Allison DiGrande, Director of NEPOOL Relations for ISO New England, Michelle Gardner, Director of Regulatory Affairs – Northeast for NextEra Energy Resources, and Elin Katz, Consumer Counsel for the State of Connecticut. Flossie Davis, Partner at Day Pitney LLP, moderated the panel and provided background on the stakeholder discussions launched by NEPOOL to consider potential market rule changes to integrate markets and public policy in New England.      

Allison DiGrande set the stage for the discussion, explaining how state polices promoting the procurement of clean energy resources are impacting the region’s wholesale electricity markets. She explained the proposal the ISO has put forward to accommodate the states’ public policy goals in the near term—called Competitive Auctions with Sponsored Policy Resources—involving enhancements to the region’s Forward Capacity Market. She noted that the ISO’s proposal is intended to integrate the states’ sponsored policy resources into the Forward Capacity Market over time while preserving competitively based capacity pricing for other resources in New England to ensure resource adequacy. She stated that the ISO is currently working with stakeholders on design details and plans to file its proposal with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by the end of the year for review and approval.

Michelle Gardner discussed a longer-term proposal offered by NextEra Energy, Conservation Law Foundation, and Brookfield Renewable aimed at achieving the states’ public policy goals through the wholesale electricity markets. She laid out the general framework for a proposed Forward Clean Energy Market intended to procure the clean energy attributes of resources needed to fulfill the states’ long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. She explained that the design proposal is intended to not only attract new clean energy resources but also retain existing clean energy resources to cost-effectively reduce GHG emissions in New England. She also described the proposal’s location-specific payments to focus incentives to develop new clean energy resources where they will displace the most CO2 emissions.

Elin Katz voiced her support for a solution that accommodates the states’ public policy goals, expressing concern over the willingness and ability of the six New England states to gain consensus over one set of public policy goals to achieve through the markets. She explained to attendees that the Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel is an active and voting member of the End-User Sector of NEPOOL, which gives consumer interests a voice in stakeholder discussions. She also touched on the issue of Millstone Nuclear Power Station and how the debate over the plant’s future is indicative of the challenges associated with coming to agreement over matters of state policy.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Panel Description:
Since last August, market participants, policymakers, and other stakeholders have been discussing potential market rule changes to integrate the region’s wholesale electricity markets with the public policy goals of the New England states. Through that process, ISO New England has offered a conceptual approach to accommodate state policies in the near term, involving enhancements to the Forward Capacity Market. The region’s stakeholders are exploring several other concepts as well, including longer-term solutions aimed at achieving the states’ public policy goals, not simply accommodating them. How did we get here? How are consumers represented in these discussions? 

Location:
Day Pitney LLP, 242 Trumbull Street, Hartford, CT 06103

Program:

  • 5:30: Registration and networking reception
  • 6:15: Welcoming remarks by NEWIEE and CPES Board Members
    • Elizabeth C. Barton, NEWIEE President and Partner, Day Pitney LLC
    • Joey Lee Miranda, CPES President and Partner, Robinson+Cole
  • 6:30: Panel discussion: Making Sense of IMAPP: Integrating Markets and Public Policy in New England
  • 7:30: Conclusion