Solar at High Noon

Surplus generation at mid-day calls for long-duration energy storage.

Utility execs and PUCs should plan now to handle extensive solar penetration, including the significant overgeneration that can occur at mid-day.

Taking Digital to Scale

Eight key ‘plays’ to alter how work is managed and performed.

Adopting digital capabilities to transform operations and processes holds immense promise for utilities. Indeed, it’s the best path to growth.

Yes, We Have No Negawatts

When you sell demand response back to the grid, how much capacity are you now not buying?

When customers sell demand response into a regional capacity market (such as PJM’s Reliability Pricing Model, known as the RPM), how much credit should they earn for agreeing to curtail demand and alleviating stress on the grid — that is, for reducing the market’s need for generating capability and capacity reserve margin? And further, should the amount of credit depend on whether the customer works with market aggregators, known both as CSPs (“Curtailment Service Providers”) or ARCs (“Aggregators of Retail Customers”)? One view would pay customers for the full extent of their curtailment of demand — known as its “Guaranteed Load Drop” (GLD). The other would limit capacity credit to the customer’s prior load history — “Peak Load Contribution,” or PLC. The answer may well dictate whether regulators continue to treat “energy” and “capacity” as two distinct concepts.

People (June 2011)

Dynegy appoints interim president and CEO; Navigant adds new energy practice director; plus senior staff changes at Emera, ConEdison, Energyplus Holdings, and others.

Demanding More from DR

Customer-specific demand-response strategies become more sophisticated.

Demand-response technologies are quickly becoming more sophisticated, and markets are treating demand as a resource. But realizing the true potential of DR requires utilities to apply today’s technology solutions and program structures—and to base their strategies on actual customer behavior and preferences—rather than yesterday’s outdated assumptions about centralized load control.

Demand-Side Dreams

FERC would relax price caps—sending rates skyward—to encourage customers to curtail loads.

About four months ago, at a conference at Stanford University’s Center for International Development, the economist and utility industry expert Frank Wolak turned heads with a not-so-new but very outrageous idea.

Don't Mess With Texas

America’s energy competition laboratory prepares to build.

The ERCOT region remains a living example of how to make a successful transition to restructured wholesale and retail markets for electricity. At the same time, the market continues to witness some significant developments. Sights are turning from recovery to the next stage of the power business cycle: The Buildup.

Customers Interrupted

Utilities that are short on capacity and operate in a stable regulatory environment may be able to extract value from interruptible rates.

Utilities that are short on capacity and operate in a stable regulatory environment may be able to extract value from interruptible rates.


Can Electricity Markets Work Without Capacity Prices?

MANY PLAYERS IN THE ELECTRIC INDUSTRY HAVE COME to believe that energy-only prices will soon replace the hundred-year tradition of pricing both energy and capacity.

This idea, sometimes called "monomic" trading, offers a seductive simplicity. Even so, research indicates that it is unlikely to work well.

First, consider some terminology. Traditional electric markets contain prices for both energy and capacity. Energy prices pertain to the actual kilowatt-hours. Capacity prices pertain to the right to take energy.

In Brief...

GAS COMPETITION PLAN. Colorado releases framework for rate and service unbundling for natural gas LDCs, which includes: treatment of stranded cost, utility affiliate participation in the competitive market and supplier obligations. Docket No. 97I-0336, Aug. 19, 1997 (Colo.P.U.C.).

Local Telco Rates. Idaho directs USWEST Communications Inc. to reduce annual revenues by $327,000 and approves proposal to compensate ratepayers $4.2 million for yellow pages revenues. It also sets the rate of return on equity at 11.2 percent.Case No. USW-S-96-5, Order No.