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Ohio Powers Ahead in its Grid Modernization Initiative


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In April 2017, the Public Utilities Fee of Ohio (PUCO) launched PowerForward, an effort to review how Ohio might revolutionize its electrical grid, enhance reliability and resilience, and incorporate new, progressive applied sciences in an effort to improve the client expertise of all Ohio electrical energy prospects.

 This initiative has referred to as upon business leaders to steer conversations starting from integrating DER into the evolving grid to incorporating electrical autos and their infrastructure onto the electrical system, to redesigning Ohio’s ratemaking and price design construction to encourage investments in progressive power sources. AEE and its member firms have been proper within the combine.

As distributed power useful resource (DER) and large-scale renewable power deployment will increase, states are making ready to combine these applied sciences into their present techniques and reap the benefits of the advantages they supply. At AEE, we now have been advancing these conversations by bringing collectively public utility commissioners, utility executives, and power expertise consultants to debate methods to arrange for the evolving electrical energy system, in addition to by taking part instantly in state initiatives, reminiscent of Illinois’ Subsequent Grid and New York’s Reforming the Vitality Imaginative and prescient continuing. 

Over the previous yr, the PUCO has hosted a collection of workshops and casual discussions to carry this dialog to the fore. PowerForward has been damaged into three phases: Section 1, held over three days in April 2017, was coined “A Glimpse Into the Future”; Section 2, held over three days in July 2017, centered on “Exploring Applied sciences”; and essentially the most in-depth, Section three, was unfold out into two three-day periods in March 2018, centered on “Ratemaking and Regulation.”

Section 1 closely centered on what a future grid would appear like and helped to put the muse for the end-vision of the initiative. Section 2, took that imaginative and prescient a step additional by delving into grid structure and investigating the position of applied sciences in enabling a contemporary grid. And most lately, Section three, dove into a few of the extra nuanced and technical coverage concerns reminiscent of distribution system planning and grid degree marketplaces, electrical automobile integration, the position of power storage, unlocking the worth of information entry, utility enterprise mannequin reform, and price design. 

A collection of shows from nationwide utility and coverage consultants have pushed the dialog and have led to the sharing of data and concepts that can assist to chart a path ahead over the following couple of years. At the newest workshop, AEE’s personal Ryan Katofsky and Danny Waggoner have been invited to take part, offering the superior power business perspective.

Katofsky centered his presentation on questions pertaining to enterprise mannequin reform, discussing methods for utilities to recuperate their prices for providers, reminiscent of cloud computing, the place utilities would historically not be capable of earn a price of return. (See video feedback from Katofsky, and likewise CLEAResult’s Doug Lewin right here.) He additionally touched on value restoration frameworks that align the pursuits of utilities and prospects in order that utilities have a monetary incentive to pursue DER and different service-based options somewhat than conventional poles-and-wires investments. (For extra on this, see AEE’s 21st century electrical energy system challenge briefs and white paper on optimizing incentives for capital- and service-based options.)

Waggoner mentioned the significance of price design and DER valuation within the altering electrical energy system. He additionally raised the significance of buyer schooling and the position of applied sciences, reminiscent of good thermostats and behavioral analytics, to facilitate the easy adoption of latest price designs and to unlock the worth that they’ll present to prospects and the grid.

All through the PowerForward collection, a number of AEE member firms additionally offered their distinctive views, together with Fluence, Greenlots, EnergyHub, CLEAResult, Oracle, Direct Vitality, FirstFuel, Schneider Electrical, GE, EnerNOC, Itron, Landis+Gyr, Sensible Wires, and Honda.  

By their work to this point, the PUCO has proven the worth in bringing stakeholders to the desk and in establishing an end-vision for remodeling Ohio’s electrical energy system. As we await subsequent steps within the PowerForward initiative, we heed the phrases of Chairman Asim Haque: “I guarantee you, this isn’t the tip.”   

AEE has ready a collection of six challenge briefs that deal with how the facility sector can efficiently transition to a 21st Century Electrical energy System, in addition to the white paper, beneath, “Utility Earnings in a Service-Oriented World.”

Download Utility Earnings in Service-Oriented World

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