Webinar Recording: 2/19/19 Variable Renewable Energy and Wholesale Power Prices

NCEP will host a webinar to discuss the effects that variable renewable energy (VRE) had on wholesale power prices from 2008 through 2017. The LBNL study assessed forecasts and factors that may influence prices in wholesale markets in the US. Recent trends and patterns from 60,000 wholesale pricing nodes were evaluated against the impacts of VRE and other factors, as well as a number of constrained pricing areas (“hot spots”) to highlight several drivers for geographic and temporal pricing variations. The webinar will feature analysis from Andrew Mills of Berkeley Labs and perspectives from Keith Collins of Southwest Power Pool. Moderated by Commissioner Abigail Anthony of the Rhode Island Public Utility Commission.


The recording can be found at this link.

Event: DOE Workshop on Electric Transmission Development and Siting Issues

Event: DOE Workshop on Electric Transmission Development & Siting Issues

Thursday, November 15, 2018
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Conference Center
4301 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA, 22203
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. eastern

Agenda. Registration. Limited travel stipends available to commissioners and commission staff by contacting NARUC at rafts@naruc.org.

On Thursday, November 15, 2018, DOE is holding a public workshop to solicit input relevant to its next electric transmission congestion study, and more generally to foster dialogue on key issues affecting today’s electric transmission systems. Continue reading →

Compendium of Resources for State Electricity Policy Officials: Evolving Transmission & Distribution Intersections

This compendium of resources documents all of the examples of projects and policies, resources and references, and lingering questions and research needs that participants articulated at the May 2018 NCEP Annual Meeting and Workshop. Readers will find brief bullets and hyperlinks to the source materials. Inclusion in this compendium should not be construed as an endorsement of the source or of the contents therein by NCEP. All referenced materials are included in this document.

To submit a request to include an additional resource, please send the name of the resource, publishing date, hyperlink, and where it belongs in the compendium to resources@naruc.org.

New Podcast: How Do States Affect the Deployment of Renewables?

This conversation between Vermont Public Utility Commissioner Sarah Hofmann and former Director of NARUC’s Research Lab, Miles Keogh, goes into detail about how states can affect the deployment of renewable sources of energy. Commissioner Hofmann describes how Vermont, in addition to other states, is exploring the wide variety of renewable technologies available in the rapidly changing electricity marketplace. Also discussed is the lowering price of renewable energy and its effects on traditional sources of energy, how state legislators can assist and incentivize renewable deployment, concerns regarding over-reliance on renewables, and the pluses and minuses of net metering programs.

Click here to listen.

Webinar on September 13: Impact of Integrating Renewable Energy

On Thursday, September 13, 218 at 1 PM ET / 12 PM CT / 11 AM MT / 10 AM PT

The National Council on Electricity Policy presented a webinar on

The Impact of Integrating Renewable Energy

As renewable energy increases on the grid, system operators are gaining experience on how to forecast, integrate, and operate with renewable, intermittent resources on the grid. State officials will be able to hear about the trends of utility scale renewable integration, how an ISO incorporates residential solar PV on the distribution system into its plans, and how an RTO performs a Renewable Integration Impact Assessment for long term planning.

Presentations are linked below and a recording of the webinar is located here.

Agenda (download here)

Renewable Integration Trends by Sonia Aggarwal – Energy Innovation (presentation here)

Challenges of Integrating Renewable and Distributed Resources into Transmission Planning by Dana Walters – New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) (presentation here)

Impact of Distributed Energy Resources on Transmission System Reliability by Al McBride – Independent System Operator New England (ISONE) (presentation here)

Renewable Integration Impact Assessment by Jordan Bakke – Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) (presentation here)

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

NASEO Hosted SEO & PUC Staff Relationships and Cooperative Actions Call

On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, the NASEO Fuels & Grid Integration Committee hosted a Conference Call on State Energy Offices and Public Utility Staff Relationships and Cooperative Actions. The call discussed how to create a relationship between State Energy Offices and Public Utility Commission Staff and opportunities to work on issues and concerns of mutual interest. The Conference Call featured presentations by:

  • John Chatburn, Administrator, Idaho Office of Energy Resources and Randy Lobb, Utilities Division Administrator, Idaho Public Utilities Commission
  • Lauren Savidge, Staff Attorney, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Vicki Hackett, Director of Adjudications, Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
  • Jan Brinch, Director, National Council on Electricity Policy, NARUC, and Kerry Worthington, NARUC
More information can be found on the NASEO Fuels and Grid Integration Committee webpage. For additional information, please contact Stephen Goss, NASEO Program Manager.

NCEP Podcasts Now Available

The National Council on Electricity Policy is pleased to sponsor a series of short podcasts on how electricity is being generated, moved along the grid, and delivered to consumers throughout the country. As a voice for multiple perspectives, the Council supports state policymakers as they address the changing electricity marketplace.


The Evolving Electricity Marketplace – What State Legislators Want to Know

Representative Tom Sloan from Kansas’ 45th District shares his insights on the changing electricity marketplace and the role of state legislators in supporting new policies, technological changes, and greater customer engagement in the way their electricity is generated, transmitted, and delivered. Find the first NCEP podcast here.


How Utilities Operate: A Regulator’s Perspective

Commissioner Paul Kjellandar, Chairman of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, shares his knowledge – both as a regulator and former state legislator – of the premise behind utility regulation. The regulatory compact is based on a number of fundamental assumptions. In return for an obligation to serve customers and regulatory oversight, the utility has the opportunity to recover its prudently incurred expenses. Is this compact in danger of being upset? How does a state address a utility that spans multiple states? Find out here on the fourth NCEP podcast.


New Developments in Siting Energy Projects

Chairman Ed Finley of the North Carolina Utility Commission addresses transmission siting challenges in today’s new electricity market. He shares his knowledge and expertise on how greater use of renewables and distributed energy resources, siting proposals proposed by new transmission companies – other than incumbent utilities, and consumer concerns about siting transmission lines across their property are changing the traditional manner in which siting is done. Listen here on the third NCEP podcast.


Infrastructure and Cyber Security: State and Local Responsibilities

Commissioner Nick Wagner of the Iowa Utilities Board explores the ways that states, utilities, and private and public sector organizations are dealing with cyber and infrastructure security. He shares his knowledge of the critical issues that state and local governments must address to ensure that their citizens are protected against cyber attacks and threats against energy infrastructure, now and in the future. Find out more on the second NCEP podcast, here.



NCEP’s 2017 Annual Meeting a Success!

The National Council on Electricity Policy held its annual business meeting on May 12th via webcast. Over eighty NCEP members and friends participated on-line, representing energy and air regulators and staff, state legislators, state energy office officials, consumer advocates, trade associations, both private and public utilities, federal government agencies, businesses, national research laboratories, universities, and non-profits.

We discussed the Council’s direction for 2017-2018, provided updates on the Council’s recent activities, including federal-state jurisdictional issues, development of a valuation framework for assessing electricity resources, and updates to the Energy Zones Mapping Tool and activities of the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative.

Two panel discussions covered “Siting on Brownfields and Other Existing Infrastructure Sites for G&T Flexibility” and “Collaborative Strategies that Support Reliability, Resiliency, and Recovery for Cyber and Infrastructure Energy Assurance.” The first panel explored the ability to use siting of energy facilities on brownfields as a way to reduce public process conflicts and as a process for introducing resources that bring greater flexibility to the grid. The second panel explored the latest issues facing states in resilience and cybersecurity. Presentations from the two panels are available here.

This next year’s National Council strategic direction will address siting. We will focus on the many new, distributed and renewable resources that are being integrated onto the grid across the system, the increasing resiliency issues that result, potential impacts on the local environment, the manner in which resource diversity is being affected, how the system is evolving and what that means for future resource availability and diversity.

Siting is a “cross sector” and “cross-issue” topic, and as such, we will work on siting issues through continuing support for our five work areas. Learn more about these work areas here.

Visit this site often for news about the National Council’s upcoming reports and events!

Questions about NCEP? Please contact Jan Brinch at jbrinch@naruc.org for more information.