Smart Grid

As the nation’s electric grid ages and the ways in which consumers and utilities are interacting with the electric grid are changing, policymakers and regulators face the challenge of ensuring the continued efficiency, reliability, affordability and ease of operation upon which the grid was initially built. This FREE CSG eCademy webcast explores how new technologies can help meet energy reliability and affordability objectives and the role regulators and policymakers can play in formulating policies to help ensure the grid continues to meet consumer demands now and in the future.

Increasing popularity of small scale, on-site power sources known as distributed generation has surged because of policies like net energy metering. Distributed generation—mainly rooftop solar—is transforming the way electricity is generated, transmitted and distributed. In 2015, state lawmakers will likely continue debates about the most appropriate way to balance consumer demand for distributed generation while recognizing the real and substantial fixed and variable costs incurred by electric...

Transactive energy, a technique for managing the generation, consumption or flow of electric power within an electric power system, relies on a market-based approach to promote grid reliability.  These systems increasingly are being used to promote renewable energy sources, recognizing that technologies permit customers to work together to shift generation load and demand. This eCademy session provides an opportunity for policymakers to learn about the evolving technique and its potential implications for states. 

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—The solar electricity industry in the United States has seen dramatic growth in the past few years. But some believe states could be doing more with policy to put solar on a more level playing field with electricity produced by fossil fuels. That’s what two consultants told attendees Aug. 13 at a daylong policy academy during the recent CSG National and CSG West Annual Meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

As states continue to diversify their energy portfolios, renewable energy sources—like solar technology—will play an increasing role.
A recent report by the U.S. Energy Information...

CSG Director of Energy and Environmental Policy Brydon Ross outlines the top five issues for 2014, including upcoming Clean Air state implementation plans, EPA cooling water intake regulations, increased scrutiny on crude oil transportation safety, potential rate and policy disputes involving net metering, and lingering impacts that drought may pose for states and water infrastructure.  

According to an article in the San Jose Mercury-News, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is close to approving a requirement for the state's largest utilities to buy 1.3 megawatts of energy storage by 2020 to help improve upon the intermittent nature of renewable energy resources like solar and wind. The directive would be the first of its kind in the country and would provide enough storage capacity to power nearly 1 million homes.

A host of market forces has raised concerns about the uncertain future for the nation’s electric grid. Growing renewable energy capacity and energy efficiency improvements, combined with smart grid capabilities, however, can provide new options that can improve resiliency, reliability and financial incentives with distributed generation technologies. This session featured energy and grid experts who shared their expertise from a federal, regional, private sector and academic perspective and explored these complex issues before policymakers. They also discussed states' roles in meeting future challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s transmission and distribution system.

On Aug. 14, 2003, the lights went out throughout the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the U.S. and Ontario, affecting 50 million people. The outage, which started when tree limbs hit transmission lines in Ohio and cascaded across eight states, demonstrated the vulnerability of the electric grid system in the U.S.

Kansas City has made a big investment in the smart grid and legislators got the chance Friday to see just what that investment has created during a tour of the Green Impact Zone Smart Grid Demonstration Project.