Distributed Generation & Microgrids

Accommodating High Levels of DER

Understanding What Reliability Entails

How Distributed Energy Resources affect the reliability of the bulk power system is an area that needs more study and analysis for the industry and policy makers.

Storage and Distributed Resources in Wholesale Markets

Preserve Local Authority

Many public power utilities are taking a closer look at how DER, including electric storage facilities, might benefit their communities. The American Public Power Association has asked that new FERC wholesale market rules not frustrate local use of these evolving resources.

Energy People: Julia Hamm

We talked with Julia Hamm, CEO of SEPA

Julia Hamm started at SEPA soon after college, finding the organization a natural fit for her talents. She is the brains behind one of the largest trade shows in the industry, and has emerged as one of the foremost experts on the nexus between utilities and distributed energy resources.

Arizona on Value of Solar

Turning Point for Distributed Energy

In December 2016, Arizona's utility regulators set in motion a new policy many believe is likely to undermine investment in solar and other distributed technologies in the state. We urge advocates and regulators looking for sustainable models of state DER policy to think carefully before following Arizona's example.

Why Are We Still Arguing About NEM?

Competitive Market Will Take Care of Next Burning Issue

I do not understand why we are still distracted by Net Energy Metering (NEM). It worked well when we had not-so-smart meters and were trying to encourage rooftop solar penetration. People in general and students of regulation in particular are left confused and can easily find some support for both sides. This results in conflicts and proposed compromises that keep the debate going at full tilt. Two things are missing or mostly overlooked in all this regulatory discourse.

FERC, Renewables and Potatoes

Hidden Costs of Externalities

We continue to rush towards a renewable future without considering overall system design, the costs that various renewable scenarios impose on grid operation, and the operation of the grid with these scenarios. When the externalities of climate change and ocean acidification create an overwhelming mandate to move away from fossil fuels, we have no choice but to go forward. Shouldn't we try to pick the cheapest path?

Utility's Role in Electricity's Future, Part II

Utility Execs Roundtable: We continued the conversation with execs from seven utilities in the Northeast who help lead their companies on future strategies

In part II of our roundtable, we discuss how new products and services are expected to create new revenue streams for utilities, augmenting the (slowly) declining traditional revenue.

Letter: Response to Cicchetti Re: Residential Demand Charges

A response to the article by Charles Cicchetti in our December 2016 issue

Charles Cicchetti's December 2016 article asserts TOU rates are a preferable alternative to demand charges for distributed energy resources (DER) customers. But TOU rates are not enough to maximize the benefits of DER.

New Jersey Eyes Microgrids to Augment Reliability

Excerpt from the December 9, 2016 issue of PUR's Utility Regulatory News

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities determined that microgrids, whether based on CHP, fuel cell, solar, or some other technology, offer the promise of increased system resiliency. Especially with CHP-based microgrids, energy efficiency is advanced as well.