This update features policy, regulatory, legislative, and regional developments in Connecticut and New England. The policy updates are compiled by a team recently formed with support from CPES, known as the New Energy Professionals. 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 Paul Brady, CPES Executive Director, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s features:
- PURA reopens Virtual Net Metering docket and cancels upcoming Competitive Supplier Working Group meeting
- U.S. Dept. of Energy to host upcoming meetings in the region on the Quadrennial Energy Review and Grid Modernization
- New York utilities look to MIT to design pricing strategy for distributed energy
Connecticut Policy/Regulatory Update:
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (“PURA”) has reopened Docket No. 13-08-14, PURA Development of the Administrative Process and Program Specifications for Virtual Net Metering, to review the required one year time period from the date of acceptance into the VMN queue to obtain commercial operation and to modify the application requirements for agricultural hosts to require proof of state agricultural status. PURA has designated the reopened proceeding Docket No. 13‑08‑14RE03. The proceeding can be found here.
Also, the Competitive Supplier Working Group meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, 2016 has been cancelled. The cancelation notice can be found at http://www.dpuc.state.ct.us/dockcurr.nsf/All/3FF6DFE34E5C5D6085257F870067F0F9?OpenDocument
Regional and Industry Developments
Department of Energy Sets Outreach Meetings for Quadrennial Energy Review
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will hold a number of stakeholder meetings in the coming months as outreach continues for the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). DOE will host a meeting in Boston, Massachusetts on April 15, 2016 to discuss issues impacting the electric grid in New England, New York, and much of the region covered by the PJM Interconnection. The 2016 version of the QER is focused on the issues impacting the nation’s electric system from bulk power generation to end use.
In the days preceding the April 15 meeting, DOE will host a Grid Modernization Northeast Region workshop on April 13-14, 2016. DOE notes that the workshop is designed to seek “stakeholder input and feedback on the Department’s grid-related research and demonstration strategy, and will provide stakeholders an opportunity to inform the Department on the grid-related technical challenges of emerging regional and national policy issues.” Registration and additional information on the workshop can be found here.
N.Y. utilities seek new pricing plan for distributed energy
The local utility of the future will be home to more rooftop solar, smart grid technologies and independent energy service providers. But it will need something else, experts say — entirely new ways of pricing customer-supplied electricity supplies and conservation measures. The owner of several upstate New York utilities has asked Massachusetts Institute of Technology experts to design such a pricing strategy to help them meet the requirements of the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) utility restructuring policy.
The MIT Energy Initiative, collaborating with a leading Spanish research institute, is designing a computer model of a representative local electric utility distribution network to simulate how consumers’ solar units, battery storage and other distributed energy systems would affect the costs of running the network. That would lead, in turn, to a new system for pricing power as distributed electricity services expand. Across the United States, utilities, regulators and customer groups are at odds over how distributed energy suppliers, and companies that aggregate power demand and efficiency services, should be paid for what they provide and for their use of the grid.
Information about the Energy and Technology Committee, including committee meetings and public hearings, is available at: https://www.cga.ct.gov/et/.
The deadline to report bills out of the Energy and Technology Committee has passed. Within the past week there have been no significant actions to the bills previously reported out of the committee that may be of interest to you.