Technical Assistance to State Public Utility Commissions

Technical Assistance to State Public Utility Commissions

Background

The State Technical Assistance to Public Utility Commissions (PUCs) program is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Grid Modernization Initiative funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office as well as the Office of Electricity. The program is offered in conjunction with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The goal of the program is to provide high-impact, in-depth technical assistance to help state regulators address a wide variety of challenges facing the electricity industry.  Many of the challenges are associated with rapid technological advancements, the emerging roles of both customers and third parties in the generation and management of electricity, the convergence of operations, markets, and planning across the bulk-power and distribution system domains, and considerations for addressing the climate crisis and enhancing the equity, affordability, security, and resilience of the electric grid.  This program augments and complements current technical assistance activities undertaken by various DOE program offices.

The competitively selected state PUCs awarded to receive technical assistance are as follows:

Table Showing competitively selected state PUCs awarded to receive technical assistance

DER Adoption & Integration

DER Interconnection Workshop

Presented to GMLC TA to State PUCs DER Interconnection Cohort. 

Presented on December 15, 2022, by M. Ingram, D. Narang, X. Li, C. Marguis, D. Lew, and S. Forrester. National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Abstract: Provides an overview of and implications for PUCs on: FERC Order 2222; DER Aggregation and Integration into Wholesale Markets and Operation; Allowing DER Aggregations and FERC Order 719; and Using IEEE 1547 Standard in Support of DER Aggregation.

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Members-Only Interconnection Standards Technical Assistance Workshop

Presented to National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. 

Presented on July 17, 2022, by D. Sass Byrnett, M. Ingram, D. Narang, and R. Subramaniam. National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Abstract: Highlights challenges, needs, existing resources, and support materials relevant for state regulators interested in updating interconnection standards.

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Grid Planning

Developing Forecasts: Basics & Best Practices

Presented to GMLC TA to State PUCs Forecasting Cohort. 

Presented on January 30, 2023, by: N. Mims Frick, A. Campbell, E. Hale, B. Tarufelli, A. Satre-Meloy, C. Holland, and A. Sekar. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Abstract: Provides an overview of and best practices associated with developing forecasts, including forecasting of utility load, energy efficiency, demand flexibility, building electrification, electric vehicles, distributed solar, distributed battery storage, and utility costs.

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Quantifying Locational Net Benefits of DER for Distribution Systems

Presented to Utah Grid Modernization Stakeholder Collaborative. 

Presented on September 7, 2022, by: A. Satchwell, N. Mims Frick, and M. Heleno. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 

Abstract: Provides an overview of: 1) state requirements for distribution system planning relevant to state regulators as it relates to distributed energy resources (DER) including hosting capacity analysis, interconnection, non-wires alternatives, and DER tariffs; and 2) Current methodologies for integrating distributed energy resources into distribution system planning and their implementation challenges relevant to state regulators

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Duke Energy’s Integrated System and Operations Planning: A comparative analysis of integrated planning practices

(2023). J. Keen, E. Pohl, N. Frick, JP Carvallo, L. Schwartz. 

Abstract: Technical review of Duke Energy's Integrated System Operations Planning framework examining how it interacts with other electricity system planning processes in South Carolina. The information may be useful to audiences in other states interested in integrated distribution system planning. 

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Equity and Justice

Assessing the Current State of U.S. Energy Equity Regulation and Legislation

(2023). N. Hanus, J. Barlow, A. Satchwell, and P. Cappers. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, February.

Abstract: Identifies, organizes and summarizes state energy equity executive, legislative, and regulatory actions undertaken between January 2020 and July 2022

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Developing an Equity Framework for State Regulatory Decision-Making

(2023). S.P. Forrester and A.J. Satchwell. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, August.

Abstract: Presents a framework for states that seek to incorporate equity into regulatory decision-making.

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Resilience

Considerations for Resilience Guidelines for Clean Energy Plans: For the Oregon Public Utility Commission and Oregon Electricity Stakeholders

(2022). J.S. Homer, K.M. Boenker, A.A. Lipert, K. Oikonomou, R. Tapio, and H.J Corsair. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, September

Abstract: Summarizes relevant approaches, research, models, and national examples for state utility regulators tasked with developing utility guidelines for risk-based resiliency planning.

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The Value of Sharing and Consolidating Critical Community, Electricity, and Natural Hazard Information

(2023). C. Sparti, P. Larsen, and T. Huntington. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, August.  

Abstract: Review of hazard mitigation plans in California to develop a common, but generic, data taxonomy showing fields to collect to encourage consolidating and sharing of this information in the future.

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Regulation

Evaluating the X-Factor: A Brief Overview of Methodologies and Best Practices

(2023). B. Tarufelli and M. Weimar. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Journal pre-print PNNL-SA-181924), June.

Abstract: Technical overview of common methodologies, assumptions, and their potential biases, as well as recommendations for improving the evaluation of total factor productivity studies, focusing on the aspects of developing the X-Factor.

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