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Demand Response is Alive and Well: DR Opportunities in a Post-Order 745 World

Demand Response is Alive and Well: DR Opportunities in a Post-Order 745 World

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.
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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.

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Three Years of Residential Electric Choice in Illinois, with Opt-Out Aggregation, Yields Results: A Status Report

Three Years of Residential Electric Choice in Illinois, with Opt-Out Aggregation, Yields Results: A Status Report

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. 
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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.

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Preserving Economic Demand Response: Promptly and Lawfully

Preserving Economic Demand Response: Promptly and Lawfully

 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.
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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.

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The State and Promise of Energy Storage

The State and Promise of Energy Storage

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.
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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.

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Tracking the Consumer Value of Smart Grid Deployment in Illinois and Beyond

Tracking the Consumer Value of Smart Grid Deployment in Illinois and Beyond

 

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.
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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.

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Electricity Daily

UK energy policy skewered by Oxford’s Helm, as National Grid sees tight winter

UK energy policy skewered by Oxford’s Helm, as National Grid sees tight winter

October 31, 2014 -- Industry has assured the government that blackouts are unlikely, although reserve electric capacity will run at around 4% this winter, down from 5% the year before and 17% three years ago. Sounds ominous, yes? But relax, it’s just the UK we’re talking about.

Oxford University Professor Dieter Helm skewered the UK government’s energy policy before the House of Lords’ Science...

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Still learning from its Sandy experience, PSE&G continues upgrades, planning

Still learning from its Sandy experience, PSE&G continues upgrades, planning

PSE&G, which had been working on a wiring upgrade to increase capacity and reliability before Hurricane Sandy, is continuing with the utility’s $1.22 billion Energy Strong program, aimed at strengthening and better protecting its electric and gas networks from severe storms. “During the two-week period following Sandy, we made more than two million electric service restorations – a record for an...

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Major utilities report solid earnings

Major utilities report solid earnings

Exelon Corp. told financial analysts this week that its earnings increased by 35% in the third quarter, driven by improvements in both its utility and generation businesses. The 3 rd quarter’s results also were aided by cancellation of Energy Department nuclear fuel-disposal fees. Chicago-based Exelon has been makings acquisitions, most notably a $6.8 billion deal in April to buy Pepco Holdings Inc. a...

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Brits warned of smart meter hacking

Brits warned of smart meter hacking

British consumers could easily hack the controversial new smart meters the government plans to introduce, allowing them to illegally slash their energy bills, cyber-security experts have warned. The caution came as top White Hall apparatchiks met with energy industry leaders today to discuss plans that will see the devices installed in every British home by 2020. Smart meters are meant to provide ...

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Heat pumps gain with technologies

Heat pumps gain with technologies

With heightened global interest in development of energy efficient buildings, the heat pump market is surging around the world. The improving technology may even see a renaissance in the US, where more and more cities are driving efficiency goals. Today’s market is dominated by three major pump types: CO2, gas-driven, and hybrid. CO2 heat pumps, both ozone-friendly and energy efficient, are a prefer...

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Enviro suit: NRC illegally modified license for PG&E’s Diablo Canyon plant

Enviro suit: NRC illegally modified license for PG&E’s Diablo Canyon plant

October 30, 2014 -- A lawsuit filed by an environmental group says federal regulators secretly and illegally revised the license for a California power plant, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle . Officials with Friends of the Earth say that last year the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. changed an element of the Diablo Canyon power facility's licen...

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Editorials

Seeking to make ends meet in organized markets: What’s wrong with this picture?

Seeking to make ends meet in organized markets: What’s wrong with this picture?

Is there a hidden flaw in the present construct of organized regional markets—the sort that are operated by ISO New England, PJM, ERCOT, and the New York ISO?

They all do a fine job of planning, regional dispatch, coordination, and management of complex markets for power, energy, and ancillary services. Yet, problems continue to poke their heads up, like an annoying game of Whack-a-mole. The reason...

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Guest editorial: New England generators seek a level playing field for resources

Guest editorial: New England generators seek a level playing field for resources

To the editor—In response to an October 20 piece in Electricity Daily , the New England Power Generator Association’s (NEPGA) believes it necessary to clarify its position in the recent petition to the New Hampshire Public Utility Commission (NHPUC) requesting a review of the state’s affiliate rules. In a petition filed in September, and granted last week, NEPGA sought state oversight over Public Serv...

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Teaching the ‘Duck’ to Fly

Teaching the ‘Duck’ to Fly

With apologies to economist Jim Lazar for appropriating the title of his excellent paper, “ Teaching the ‘Duck’ to Fly ,” recently a featured work on the Regulatory Assistance Project website—and to our readers for not pointing your attention to this paper sooner—we shamelessly steal from Shakespeare as well: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy....

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Regulators and the regulated: Has the bright line of propriety become hazy today?

Regulators and the regulated: Has the bright line of propriety become hazy today?

One of the country’s leading utility regulatory agencies, the California Public Utilities Commission, has its hands full. A fireball burst from a Pacific Gas & Electric pipeline 1,000 feet in the air in San Bruno on Thursday, September 9, 2010, killed eight people, flattened dozens of homes, and destroyed a neighborhood. It has now burst into flame again, ending the career of the commission’s ...

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Regulation and Competition in a Time of Change: A Meditation

Regulation and Competition in a Time of Change: A Meditation

Last week I had the privilege of attending the annual meeting of the Northwest and Intermountain Power Producers Coalition, which is known for its informality, candid and illuminating talk, and a generally good time. I even had the opportunity to moderate a panel, “Creating Opportunity in a Time of Change,” featuring UBS utility and IPP analyst, Julien Dumoulin-Smith, and the chairman of the Washi...

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The Ohio proposals: Are some suppliers unable to weather market conditions?

The Ohio proposals: Are some suppliers unable to weather market conditions?

The nation’s regional transmission operators generally do a fine job of managing a complex, interdependent grid system and its related power and power services markets. These RTOs and independent system operators (one wishes we would settle on one term) bring order to a Balkanized system of plants, wires, and ownerships. The ISOs and RTOs reduce reserve requirements and provide transmission and ot...

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