A new model to help restructured states add renewables to the default service portfolio.
Michael R. Strong is Of Counsel in the Environmental Practice Group at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, where he focuses on representing a range of clients on energy regulatory matters in restructured markets. Mr. Strong was formerly the Chief Legal Counsel of the Illinois Power Agency, and has published articles previously in Public Utilities Fortnightly, on green energy issues in restructured markets.
Renewable energy in the U.S. tends to be intermittent, with capacity value far from guaranteed. But for those customers in restructured states who choose the standard offer from a provider of last resort, the guarantee is the name of the game. The default customer wants certainty - the exact same attribute that a renewable project developer cannot easily provide.
And so it goes that restructured states have long grappled with how to build new renewable energy generation while maintaining a competitively procured default supply product. And in a regulatory environment where U.S. EPA's draft greenhouse gas rules arguably lock in state renewable portfolio standards, the problem is not becoming any easier to solve.
Nevertheless, the possibility exists that a new sort of structure might provide a simple way for restructured states to build renewable generation without harmful reregulation.