Why the Grid Mod Evolution is Not a One-Size-Fits-All Endeavor

Why the Grid Mod Evolution is Not a One-Size-Fits-All Endeavor

Grid Modernization represents the single largest transformation of the electric utility post-WWII. Investments in hardware and software in the digital age promise a more resilient and reliable grid poised to serve the U.S. well into the 21st century. In this article, we discuss the primary drivers of Grid Mod efforts, how they vary by utility, and how approaches have evolved over time.…

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Blog Series – Part 1: DOE’s Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule

Blog Series – Part 1: DOE’s Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule

A Wrench in the Wholesale Electricity Market On September 28, 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) titled, “Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule.” This first blog in a series summarizes the NOPR and discusses the fundamental issue behind the rule: The DOE seeks action within 60 days (by November 27, 2017) from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission...

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Utility Industry Trends: Taking Stock & Reflecting

Utility Industry Trends: Taking Stock & Reflecting

The 3rd annual NY Energy Revolution Summit in New York City, was well attended and insightful. Speakers and panelists were dominated by utility executives and industry professionals sharing their respective experience in meeting the requirements of an industry in transition. While challenges remain to create a robust and customer-centric distribution system operator platform, progress...

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Exiting the Paris Agreement: A Small Piece of Trump’s Larger Dismantling

Exiting the Paris Agreement: A Small Piece of Trump’s Larger Dismantling

The Paris Agreement is intended to bring nations together to address and combat climate change with a goal of keeping global temperature rise this century to well below 2 °C (3.6 °F above pre-industrial levels). In this blog, we discuss what the Administration’s decision to exit from the Paris Agreement means for the energy and utility industries in the United States.…

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National Energy Policy: What Might We Expect with a Changing Administration?

National Energy Policy: What Might We Expect with a Changing Administration?

With a change in administration in Washington, and a Republican in the White House, and the same party controlling Congress, one might expect drastic changes in federal energy policy. However, let’s look at the facts. States are leading the energy debate, by pursuing their own aggressive strategies to promote clean and distributed energy resource use and encouraging policies to support a...

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Clean Power Plan Advances Another Step Forward

Well, there you have it. Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a petition by Clean Power Plan opponents, led by fossil fuel industry interests and several states to suspend implementation of Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. The CPP was debated, commented on, and modified to reflect the views of many stakeholders before...

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Clean Air Act: Maintaining and Strengthening Relationships More Important Now than Ever

Recently adopted and proposed federal environmental regulations can have potentially far-reaching effects on State-level planning and policy making, particularly for states that rely heavily on fossil fuels for energy production and use. These regulations can also add significantly to the costs of doing business in that state. The proposed rules for power plant carbon emissions will require...

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Clean Air Act: A “Game-Changer” in Electric Power Industry

Section 111, 42 U.S.C. 7411, of the Clean Air Act authorizes the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop regulations for categories of pollutant emissions that cause or significantly contribute to air pollution. The regulations apply to new sources without regard to location or existing state or local air quality. Section 111(d) of the Act requires states to develop plans for...

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Themes that Emerged from the Clean Power Plan Public Hearings

Last week, West Monroe Partners’ Energy & Utilities Practice attended the US EPA Clean Power Plan public hearings in Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA. The hearings on the proposed carbon rule were well-attended with many people using their five-minutes of speaking time to represent themselves as individuals or as advocacy groups addressing consumer, environmental, economic, and industry...

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Clean Air Act: Maintaining and strengthening relationships with regulators & policy makers will be more important now than ever

Recently adopted and proposed federal environmental regulations can have potentially far-reaching effects on State-level planning and policy making, particularly for states that rely heavily on fossil fuels for energy production and use. These regulations can also add significantly to the costs of doing business in that state. While emission standards for criteria pollutants under the Clean...

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Regulatory Risk Assessment and Management

David South, Jack Winter, and I hosted a webinar (slides are available on our website) on July 9th presenting “the business case” for using an enterprise risk management (ERM) approach to planning compliance with the proposed EPA Clean Power Plan (CPP) rules. Participants reacted favorably to this approach. In further developing the ERM model, we are now adding to our collection of power plant...

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