By Greg Wikler, Stuart Schare, and Brett Feldman
Whatever the outcome of litigation to redress the effects of the D.C. Circuit panel’s decision voiding FERC Order 745, the economic and operational benefits of demand response are so great that many opportunities remain for this largely untapped resource.
hile the jury is still out on whether the recent D.C. Circuit panel’s decision to overturn FERC Order 745 will withstand an appeals process, many commentators have questioned whether the decision spells the end of demand response (DR) as we know it. This paper provides a number of reasons for those in the DR industry to be hopeful.
By Ann McCabe
Illinois residents are becoming accustomed to seeking the best deal for electricity service from an alternate supplier. Beginning in 2011, the ability of cities and towns to contract electric service for their residents through muni aggregation has led to two-thirds of residential customers being served by alternate suppliers.
uring the last three years, residential electric switching increased dramatically in Illinois. By the end of May 2014, more than 3 million residential customers received their electricity from a non-utility provider. These customers represent about two-thirds of all residential customers; the actual population that switched is significantly greater than the number of meters given the average household size in Illinois. Illinois has a population of 12.8 million.
By Scott Hempling
The value of economic demand response is so great that our collective interests should not wait on lengthy appeals of a D.C. Circuit panel’s decision to preserve this option. Instead, FERC, the states, utilities, generators, and Congress have alternatives to continue this cost-saving practice without running afoul of the D.C. Circuit’s action.
he day before my first appellate argument, at the Ninth Circuit in April 1989, I went to court to observe. One pair of opponents, having finished before the judges, continued arguing in the hallway. We could keep arguing too, for the months and years that will pass while the full D.C. Circuit and the Supreme Court review last month’s D.C. Circuit panel opinion. Or we can bear down and find ways to make demand response work. This essay proposes some actions, categorized according to who can take them: generators, FERC, retail utilities, states, municipalities and Congress.
by Ken Dragoon
There are many potential avenues to developing economically viable options for energy storage. Reaching any of these goals will be a powerfully transformative element of a more modern and efficient electricity grid.
nergy storage has become one of the hottest topics in the electric power industry today, as evidenced by a burgeoning number of new studies, conferences, technological breakthroughs and new policies. The interest in energy storage is inevitably linked to rapidly rising penetration levels of variable energy resources—primarily wind and solar. Perhaps the most significant recent development is California’s adoption of an energy storage procurement target for the state’s three investor-owned utilities to acquire 1,325 MW of energy storage by 2020.
by Raya Salter
With huge investments needed to modernize the electricity grid, it’s imperative that all parties at interest have a voice both in determining the rules by which utility improvements are judged and ensuring that the environmental and efficiency promises of the smart grid are achieved.
ithin the last decade, several states, including Illinois, began considering or adopting laws and regulations to enable utility investment in smart grid technologies. The Electricity Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2011 (EIMA) ushered in $3.2 billion in smart grid investments for the Illinois utilities, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and Ameren Illinois (Ameren). EIMA produced the largest electric infrastructure investment Illinois utilities will have made in a generation. The law was the product of negotiations and collaboration between several stakeholders, including the two utilities and consumer advocates. Ultimately, EIMA mandated performance rates, including express metrics for success, designed to ensure that the investments deliver consumer benefits within a 10-year time frame.