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RTO Insider: Advanced Energy United Urges Changes Beyond Order 2023 for ISO-NE

Posted by Jon Lamson on Nov 1, 2023

RTO Insider reports on a recently released white paper, authored by Daymark Energy Advisors and commissioned by Advanced Energy United, that calls upon ISO-NE to make immediate and long-term changes to its interconnection process to avoid delaying state clean energy goals in New England.

ISO-NE should go beyond the changes required by Order 2023 to address the high costs and long delays associated with interconnection in the region, said a recent white paper commissioned by Advanced Energy United and written by the energy consulting firm Daymark Energy Advisors.

“The costs imposed by inefficiencies in the interconnection process are borne by ratepayers in the region and are one significant factor which threatens the New England states’ decarbonization goals,” Daymark wrote. Advanced Energy United represents clean energy and storage developers, owners, and operators in the region.

The report detailed specific recommendations for the RTO’s compliance filing, along with longer-term actions to take to address issues that will not be addressed in the filing.

“While it is critical that Order 2023 is addressed and that a solid compliance package is submitted to the commission, we stress that this marks the beginning of the region’s interconnection process reform efforts,” Daymark wrote. “Changing technology, policy efforts and expected FERC orders on planning and cost allocation, among others, makes continued attention to comprehensive market reform imperative.”

Regarding ISO-NE’s Order 2023 compliance, Daymark said ISO-NE should work to limit the potential for restudies and keep the cluster study window to the 150-day time frame prescribed by FERC, instead of the RTO’s proposed 270-day cluster window. (See ISO-NE Details Proposed Order 2023 Compliance.) The firm said that reducing interconnection timelines was one of the main goals of the commission’s order, and a longer cluster study window could push back subsequent clusters.

ISO-NE representatives have said it is difficult to guarantee it will be able meet the 150-day timeline, in part because of the undetermined number of projects it may need to consider in any given cluster.

Daymark also recommended that ISO-NE clarify its methodology for studying separate subgroupings of projects within a given cluster. The firm said the RTO should publish the data and assumptions used in each cluster study in conjunction with its results.

“The process the ISO intends to use in each cluster study should be known before the cluster request window opens so that interconnection customers can replicate the process, if they so choose, and make fully informed decisions,” Daymark wrote.

Regarding alternative transmission technologies (ATTs), Daymark said ISO-NE should include dynamic line ratings with the other ATTs to be considered in interconnection studies. Daymark also called on the RTO to provide transparency around how each alternative will be considered in the study process and detail the results of ATT evaluations in study reports.

Looking beyond Order 2023 compliance, Daymark called for more disclosure around expected regional interconnection costs for project developers prior to interconnection studies, saying this could reduce the number of projects that drop out mid-process.

“Hand-in-hand with providing the data is ensuring that each study cycle follows a well-documented study approach,” Daymark added. The firm also said ISO-NE and the region’s transmission owners should work to minimize uncertainty within interconnection cost estimates and advocated for an upper limit to the cost overruns that can be charged to developers.

Finally, Daymark said spreading costs among a cluster of projects is a good first step toward properly allocating costs associated with interconnection upgrades. At the same time, ISO-NE should consider further steps to share the costs of upgrades with all beneficiaries, Daymark wrote.

“The establishment of a cost-allocation structure that is simple to administer, clear to all participants and fair to interconnection customers, the TOs and ratepayers should be a reform priority,” Daymark wrote, adding that interconnection upgrades can benefit state policy goals, enable increased electrification, promote system resilience and increase market competition.

“We recommend that the ISO pursue a cost allocation rule that would recognize the headroom created by a set of network upgrades and charge the projects in the cluster only for the system capability they needed to interconnect,” the report recommended, saying this would be conducive in the long term to “more closely coordinated planning of the system to address the reliable delivery of power to load and the interconnection of projects without distorting incentives.”

Read the full article here .
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Topics: Wholesale Markets, United In The News, Transmission

New report reveals the reforms New England needs to more quickly connect clean energy projects to the grid

Posted by Adam Winer on Nov 1, 2023

Immediate and long-term changes needed to ISO-NE's interconnection process to avoid delaying state clean energy goals, finds new Advanced Energy United commissioned analysis from Daymark Energy Advisors.

BOSTON, MA – A new report from energy consulting firm Daymark Energy Advisors details both the immediate and longer-term reforms needed to ISO-NE's antiquated interconnection process, which is threatening to derail the decarbonization goals of New England states. The process by which energy generation projects connect to the region's power grid, known as interconnection, is inefficient and is driving up costs for ratepayers and preventing many clean energy projects from connecting to the grid altogether. 

“For many clean energy developers, the interconnection process in New England has been a dense, dangerous fog and these reforms can be the lighthouse that helps us navigate a better path forward,” said Alex Lawton, Senior Principal at Advanced Energy United (United), the national business association working to achieve 100% clean energy in America, which commissioned this analysis.

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, Press Releases, Transmission, New England

Utility Dive: Moody’s warns of potential power price volatility from renewables oversupply

Posted by Diana DiGangi on Sep 14, 2023

Utility Dive  examines a recently published Moody’s analysis on the link between unsteady energy prices and the influx of renewable energy sources to the market, featuring United’s  Ryan Katofsky  explaining how the U.S. power sector can leverage demand flexibility and battery storage technologies and services to stabilize this transition.

Reliability costs associated with backstopping renewables could rise to $435 billion a year around the world by 2030, the company said in a report released Wednesday.

As utilities increase the amount of renewable energy in their fuel supply mixes, the associated need for an increase in resource buffers could lead to oversupply that would increase power price volatility and grid reliability costs, said Moody’s Investors Service in a Wednesday report.

“Because wind and solar power generation depends on weather conditions and is thus not dispatchable, load-serving utilities will likely build in a cushion of supply to enhance reliability and compensate for resource volatility,” the report says.
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Topics: Wholesale Markets, United In The News, Ryan Katofsky

FERC Final Interconnection Ruling a First Step Toward Addressing Queue Backlogs

Posted by Adam Winer on Jul 27, 2023

FERC directs Transmission Providers to implement cluster studies, among other reforms

WASHINGTON, DC, July 27, 2023- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted today to finalize rules regarding how interconnection queues across the nation should be governed. The ruling establishes requirements that must be met by all public utility transmission providers, such asRegional Transmission Operators (RTOs), Independent System Operators (ISOs), and utilities in non-RTO/ISO regions. The long-awaited final rule follows up on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the Commission last July, in which the Commission recognized that interconnection backlogs threaten reliability and just and reasonable rates. Requirements in the final order include a transition to cluster studies, replacement of the “reasonable efforts standard” with study deadlines and penalties for transmission providers, and provisions to better accommodate new technologies such as storage and hybrid resources and to ensure consideration of grid-enhancing technologies.  

“Advanced Energy United and our members applaud the Commission for identifying the urgent need for interconnection reform and for working diligently to put forward a final Order that will start to improve the broken interconnection process,” said Caitlin Marquis, Managing Director at Advanced Energy United. “In light of the scope of the interconnection challenge, we also appreciate Acting Chair Phillips’s recognition that there is ‘so much more to do,’ and hope to see this momentum maintained with follow-up efforts by the Commission to address additional interconnection reform needs." 

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, Press Releases, Caitlin Marquis, FERC

Advanced Energy United Applauds Introduction of California Legislation to Improve Power Transmission and Dispatch Operations

Posted by Calista Thompson on Feb 9, 2023

Assembly Bill 538 "jumpstarts" conversation around regional grid collaboration, with the potential to save hundreds of millions in energy costs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Introduced by Assemblymember Chris Holden (AD41), Assembly Bill 538 would create a structure that would allow the California Independent System Operation (CAISO) to integrate into a broader, independent regional transmission operator (RTO). A 2022 economic development study commissioned by Advanced Energy United and conducted by Energy Strategies found that a transition like the one proposed in AB 538 could create over 138,000 jobs and save ratepayers $538 million per year in energy costs.

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Topics: State Policy, California Engagement, 21st Century Electricity System, Wholesale Markets, Press Releases, Economic Impact, Amisha Rai, Western RTO, California

New Study: Regional Electric Grid Would Supercharge California’s Economy

Posted by Adam Winer on Jan 25, 2023

Joining a Western grid would keep the lights on during extreme weather while creating up to 138,700 jobs and annually reducing energy bills $563 million

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A new study shows California would see significant economic benefits from participating in a regional electric grid with neighboring states. Conducted by independent consulting firm Energy Strategies on behalf of business association Advanced Energy United (formerly Advanced Energy Economy), the study found that joining a regional transmission organization (RTO) could generate upwards of $21.7 billion in new annual gross state product for California and up to 138,000 new, permanent, living-wage jobs. 

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Topics: State Policy, California Engagement, 21st Century Electricity System, Wholesale Markets, Press Releases, Economic Impact, Amisha Rai, California

Advanced Energy United Congratulates Willie Phillips on Appointment to Acting Chair of FERC

Posted by Adam Winer on Jan 3, 2023

Urges expedient nomination of a fifth Commissioner to restore a full complement to FERC

WASHINGTON, January 3, 2023 – Today, national business group Advanced Energy United thanked outgoing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chair Richard Glick for his productive and impactful tenure, congratulated Commissioner Willie Phillips on his appointment as Acting Chair of the Commission, and urged expedient nomination of a fifth Commissioner to restore a full complement to FERC.

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, Caitlin Marquis, FERC

What They’re Saying: Joining a Western RTO Would Power Economic Growth in CO, NM, and AZ

Posted by Cayli Baker on Dec 8, 2022

December 8, 2022 – Earlier this week, AEE released findings from three new state-specific reportsfor Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona showing how joining a Western RTO would power economic growth. Check out what more leaders from across those states are saying about the numbers: 

Colorado Governor Jared Polis: “We are continuing to save people money, lower energy bills, and bring more good-paying jobs to Coloradans, and this new report confirms that a Western market advances our bold work achieving these goals. Colorado has committed to join a Western market by 2030, and we look forward to continuing to work with leaders across the region to lower energy costs while making progress towards our goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040."

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, Wholesale Markets, Press Releases, New Mexico, Colorado, Western RTO

Santa Fe New Mexican: Trade group study says regional power grid would save N.M. energy, money

Posted by Nicholas Gilmore on Dec 6, 2022

Santa Fe New Mexican featured our Western RTO economic impact report, citing a press briefing on the study results. Read snippets below and the full article here

A new economic impact study from the trade group Advanced Energy Economy estimates New Mexicans could save about $114 million in energy costs with the creation of a regional transmission organization that would encompass much of the western U.S.

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, Wholesale Markets, United In The News

Utility Dive: The power grid faced heat waves, record demand and tight conditions in 2022. What happens next?

Posted by Kavya Balaraman on Nov 22, 2022

Utility Dive examined grid reliability issues popping up across the U.S., quoting Amisha Rai and Caitlin Marquis on regional and national solutions. Read snippets below and the full article here.

Power systems across the U.S. faced challenging grid reliability conditions over the past year, but managed to avoid the worst-case scenario of prolonged outages thanks to a combination of policy measures implemented over the last couple of years and luck, experts say.

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Topics: California Engagement, 21st Century Electricity System, Wholesale Markets, United In The News, Texas, Caitlin Marquis, Amisha Rai