More planning, fewer incentives, and a black swan on the horizon.
The transmission superhighway still needs major investments. Rate incentives were working -- until FERC started backing away from them. FERC should assert its authority more aggressively to promote the vision of a robust interstate grid.
A pragmatic new approach to assuring reliability.
Randall Speck and Kimberly Frank
The latest dispute over PJM’s bidding rules has raised the level of uncertainty in organized electricity markets. Efforts at reform have created a market structure so jumbled that it can’t produce just and reasonable rates -- or assure adequate supply resources. It’s time for FERC to consider alternative approaches to market design.
How DG and microgrids change the game for utilities.
Energy microgrids have emerged as more than just a curiosity. The technology is improving, costs are falling, and developers are lining up to build projects. How will microgrids overcome the substantial challenges that stand in their way?
Resilience depends more on determination than technology.
By Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief
A brutal storm ripped through southwestern Minnesota in April and snapped 2,000 power poles. Worthington Public Utilities kept the lights on with a seat-of-the-pants microgrid.
The rationale for microgrids.
Edward N. Krapels and Clarke Bruno
Despite an array of challenges, microgrids are becoming a force in the market. Innovative projects bring greater efficiency and resilience.
Independent microgrids are coming. Will franchised utilities fight them or foster them?
Sara C. Bronin and Paul R. McCary
Despite offering a range of benefits, microgrids are proving to be controversial—especially when non-utility owned microgrids seek to serve multiple customers. The biggest battles are taking place in the realm of public policy. But utilities that pursue collaboration rather than confrontation are finding interesting opportunities for profitable investment.
Why transmission planners and protection engineers need to work more closely together.
Recent outages show the importance of proper transmission system design. As the grid becomes more complex, reliability requires tighter coordination.
The reliability organization struggles with reforms, as FERC hovers.
NERC’s reliability oversight is bogged down on two fronts—standard-setting and compliance oversight. Progress depends on improving unwieldy process.
Creative destruction is coming, and it can’t be stopped.
With Order 1000, FERC shows it’s willing to blow up uncompetitive structures, as with trustbusting under Teddy Roosevelt, and the more recent Bell breakup.
APPA questions the benefits attributed to organized power markets.
Unless the regulatory paradigm fairly balances the interests of both load and generation, the utility industry will be condemned to continued upheaval.