Successful NCEP Annual Meeting and Workshop Held May 8-9, 2018

NCEP’s successful annual meeting and workshop explored the evolution and specifically the impact that distributed energy resources (DERs) are having on the transmission and distribution systems in the contexts of planning, operations, and markets at the state level. Such DERs as energy efficiency, distributed generation (e.g., solar photovoltaics), energy storage, demand response, electric vehicles, and more, illustrated current examples of technologies and decisions that are underway.

State policies and programs, data and information, and questions and research that still need to be addressed were collected from speakers and participants, with the end goal of helping state decision-makers learn from each other. This learning process was designed to help them make more informed policy decisions and avoid pitfalls that others have identified.

Topics that were addressed included:

  • Transmission planning that incorporates non-wires solutions
  • Distribution-level grid services that also support the transmission and bulk power system
  • Valuating the grid: how benefits are allocated and how services are measured
  • Support for, and recognition of, customer needs and expectations
  • Reliability and resiliency on the transmission and distribution systems

NCEP members in attendance included directors and staff of public utility regulatory agencies, environmental and air regulatory agencies, consumer advocate offices, state legislative bodies, state energy offices, and gubernatorial energy offices. The varied audience reflected NCEP’s membership, who are responsible for state-level electricity policy across the U.S.

The agenda of the meeting is available below, along with links to all presentations.

NCEP will use the results of the Annual Meeting and Workshop to write a “State of the States” white paper on the intersections of the transmission and distribution grids, as the number and variety of distributed energy resources (DERs) grow at the state, regional, and national levels. The paper is expected to be released in fall 2018.

For additional information, contact Jan Brinch, NCEP Director at jbrinch@naruc.org, or Kerry Worthington, Senior Manager at kworthington@naruc.org.

To be placed on the NCEP listserv, please e-mail kworthington@naruc.org.

 

The Status of Transmission and Distribution System Intersections
A Grid Revolution
National Council on Electricity Policy (NCEP)
Annual Meeting and Workshop – Agenda
May 8-9, 2018

Meeting Purpose & Approach:

  • Educate and engage NCEP members and colleagues on the current state of play for intersection points along the transmission and distribution grids.
  • Showcase examples of planning, operations, and market developments underway and needed for integrating higher levels of distributed energy resources (DER) into the distribution grid, and associated impacts and intersection points for the transmission grid.
  • Hear insights and lessons learned from state regulators, energy directors, utility managers, technologists, legislators, and consumer advocates who have been involved in recent DER-related distribution and transmission changes.
  • Highlight meeting participants’ own questions, experiences, and research needs.

Background: As investments in new energy-related technologies, products, and activities are underway— many of which impact planning, operations, and markets along both the transmission and distribution parts of the grid—state policy-makers and others are being called upon to make decisions that will affect customer services and utility grid modernization efforts. Increasingly, energy decision makers at local, state, and regional levels are foreseeing that their decisions will impact how the grid operates at customer locations, across the distribution system, and into the transmission system. The intersection points of these stakeholders and systems are not fully understood, as technologies and processes are evolving all the time.

 NCEP’s annual meeting will explore this evolution and specifically the impact that DERs are and will have on the transmission and distribution systems in the contexts of planning, operations, and markets. Such DERs include energy efficiency, distributed generation (e.g., photovoltaics), energy storage, demand response, electric vehicles, and more. NCEP will leverage the discussions at the annual meeting and workshop to write a paper for state electricity decision makers about the current state of play, and remaining questions to be answered.

Format: Each panel includes two example “snapshots,” that highlight recent experiences with transmission and distribution grid intersections. During these snapshots, the following questions will be addressed, so that all state decision-makers will have the opportunity to learn from others’ experiences and make better informed decisions moving forward.

  •  What is the policy backdrop that created the opportunity for this action or decision?
  • What was done? Who was involved? What went well and why?
  • What impact has the activity or initiative had in the state and/or on the grid?
  • What do you wish you would have known beforehand?
  • What would you advise other state level decision makers to do differently based on your experience?

Monday, May 7th

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Optional Site Visit to National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

NCEP Annual Meeting and Workshop participants are invited to NREL for a presentation on its Distribution System 3D Visualization Model, as well as a short tour of the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

Tuesday, May 8th

8:30 am          Executive Committee Meeting (closed session)

9:45 am          Break and NCEP Meeting Attendees Check-In

10:15 am        NCEP Annual Meeting

Welcomes

Honorable Elizabeth “Lib” Fleming, South Carolina Public Service Commission and NCEP President

Jeannette Brinch, National Council on Electricity Policy

Honorable Jeffrey Ackermann, Colorado Public Utilities Commission

Review of the Meeting and Workshop Agenda

10:45 am        The Grid Revolution Underway – National Perspectives

Moderator:

John Chatburn, Idaho Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources

Presenters:

Juliet Homer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

How and Where Distributed Energy Resources Impact Transmission and Distribution and Who Is Doing What About It 

David Kathan, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Larry Mansueti, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability

DOE Initiatives on the Intersections of the Transmission and Distribution Grids

12:00 pm        Working Lunch: Updates from NCEP Partners

David Whiteley, Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC) 

Tanya McCloskey, Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, representing National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA)

Michael Dowd, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, representing National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA)

Glen Andersen, National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL)

Dan Lauf, National Governors Association (NGA)

Stephen Goss, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)

SESSION I: PLANNING FOR A More Integrated Grid

1:15 pm          Planning for Distribution-Level Services that Support the Transmission System

Moderator:

Honorable Paul Kjellander, Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Snapshot Presenters:

Lorenzo Kristov, Electric System Policy, Structure, Market Design

Steve Rourke, Independent System Operator New England (ISO-NE)

2:00 pm          Regional Transmission Planning that Incorporates Non-Wires Solutions on the Distribution System

Moderator:

Honorable Betty Ann Kane, DC Public Service Commission

Snapshot Presenters:

Honorable Bruce Williamson, Maine Public Utility Commission

Non-Wires Alternatives at Boothbay Harbor

Ryan Fedie, Bonneville Power Authority (BPA)

Deferring Transmission System Expansion

2:45 pm          Snapshots & Input from Workshop Participants

Facilitator:

Danielle Sass Byrnett, NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation

  • What other projects, policies, or examples offer insights into these topics?
  • Where can attendees find good resources to inform their decision making?
  • What lingering questions do you have about this topic? What research is needed?

3:15 pm          Break

SESSION II: EVOLVING GRID OPERATIONS

3:30pm           Evolving Transmission & Distribution System Operations: Examples of Enhanced Visibility, Coordination, and Communications

Moderator:

Honorable Nick Wagner, Iowa Utilities Board

Snapshot Presenters:

Matthew Tisdale, Gridworks 

Samantha Ruiz, Hawaii Public Service Commissioner 

4:15 pm          Enhancing Transmission and Distribution System Interface for Resilience Benefits

Moderator:

Tanya McCloskey, Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate

Snapshot Presenters:

Honorable Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

Tom Walker, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

Jeff Bladen, Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO)

5:00 pm          Snapshots & Input from Workshop Participants

Facilitator:

Kerry Worthington, NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation

  • What other projects, policies, or examples offer insights into these topics?
  • Where can attendees find good resources to inform their decision making?
  • What lingering questions do you have about this topic? What research is needed?

5:30 pm          Adjourn Day 1

6:15 pm          No-Host Dinner (location to be announced)

Wednesday, May 9th

8:00 am          Continental Breakfast

8:30 am          Day 2 Welcome/Overview of the Agenda

SESSION III: THE POTENTIAL FOR MARKETS

8:45 am          DER Investments that Are Providing Services to the Transmission & Distribution System

Moderator:

Honorable Elizabeth “Lib” Fleming, South Carolina Public Service Commission

Snapshot Presenters: 

Leia Guccione, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

Tom Stanton, National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI)

9:30 am          The Value of Distributed Energy Resources to the Grid

Moderator:

Michael Dowd, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Snapshot Presenters:

Kerry Stroup, PJM Interconnection

Lise Trudeau, Minnesota Department of Commerce – The Value of Solar

10:15 am        Break

10:30 am        Tracking Results and Quantifying DER Impacts on the Transmission and Distribution Systems

Moderator:

Representative Tom Sloan, Kansas House of Representatives

Snapshot Presenters:

Rich Hydzik, Avista on behalf of NERC’s Essential Reliability Services Working Group and DER Task Force

DER Connection Modeling and Reliability Considerations

Grace Relf, ACEEE

What We Can Learn from Experiences with Energy Efficiency in Regional Markets

11:15am         Snapshots & Input from Workshop Participants

Facilitator:

Jan Brinch, National Council on Electricity Policy

  • What other projects, policies, or examples offer insights into these topics?
  • Where can attendees find good resources to inform their decision making?
  • What lingering questions do you have about this topic? What research is needed?

12:15 pm        Luncheon Roundtable: Support for and Recognition of Customer Needs and Expectations

Moderator:

Honorable Paul Kjellander, Idaho Public Utilities Commission

NCEP Perspectives:

Alex Whitaker, Office of Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado

Representative Jeff Morris, Washington House of Representatives

John Chatburn, Idaho Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources

Cindy Schonhaut, Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel

1:30 pm          Wrap Up & Next Steps

  • Workshop Summary
  • Questions Unanswered
  • Research Needed
  • Next Steps

2:00 pm          Adjourn

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