Where Do DERs Fit In?
Rep. Sloan was elected to his 12th term in the Kansas House of Representatives. He serves on DOE, FCC, and EPA advisory committees and has hosted FERC Commissioners in Kansas. He focuses on energy, telecommunications, and water policy interactions in Kansas and nationally.
Distributed Energy Resources are problem children. Historically, regulators have considered three categories of expenses for rate-making purposes: generation, transmission, and distribution. Other factors, such as administrative overhead and research, have essentially been subsumed under the broad category that they serve.
Legislators and regulators increasingly are discussing among ourselves and with organizations such as the Department of Energy whether a fourth category should be clearly established. Initially these discussions focused on energy storage because storage can be a "consumer" of generation, as well as a "generator," and can also alleviate transmission and distribution system constraints. In other words, storage can serve each of the three categories individually and more interestingly, serve combinations of the regulatory categories simultaneously.
Lately the discussions have expanded. Are storage devices, distributed generation, demand response, energy conservation or efficiency sufficiently diverse, interactive, comprehensive in scope, and sufficient in number to warrant designation as a new Distributed Energy Resources regulatory category?