CARY, NC – March 22, 2021 – EQ Research, the national energy consulting firm known for Policy Vista™, a suite of products analyzing General Rate Cases (GRCs) and more, reviewed key electric GRCs affecting Commercial & Industrial (C&I) customers seeking ways to adopt clean energy, energy storage and electric vehicles (EVs).
Over the years, utilities have been under pressure to develop rate designs and programs that endeavor to help achieve the clean energy goals in their respective operating states. Some of these programs and rates could create new opportunities for C&I customers looking to advance distributed energy resources and utility-scale clean energy, whereas other proposals would undermine their value proposition or create barriers that slow their adoption.
Below, EQ Research takes a look at some recent proposals and decisions affecting C&I clean energy options and how they matter.
Duke Energy (Kentucky) Green Tariff
In April 2020, a Final Decision approved Duke Energy Kentucky’s proposed new green tariff, called Green Source Advantage Program, for large C&I customers. This green tariff allows Duke Energy to enter into a PPA with a third-party to construct a renewable facility, sell output into the wholesale PJM market, and provide energy and capacity revenues, plus associated RECs, to the participating C&I customer. In addition, Duke Energy will source the renewable energy through solicitations to third-party developers and enter into PPAs with terms up to 20 years.
National Grid (New York) EV Program
In July 2020, National Grid proposed an EV program with investments of over $175 million, including an EV supply equipment make-ready program for C&I customers, among other proposals. If approved, the EV program could facilitate exponential EV growth, with the utility targeting 850,000 EVs by 2025.
Consumers Energy (Michigan) Demand Response (DR) Pilot Programs
In March 2021, Consumers Energy proposed four new DR pilots for C&I and residential customers. One proposal is the MISO Ancillary Services Pilot whereby Consumers Energy will act as the market participant at MISO and provide an opportunity for interested large C&I customers to participate in the wholesale energy markets in the MISO DR resources Type I, Type II, and Emergency DR products. Another proposal is the Small Business Smart Thermostat Pilot, a two-year program to evaluate the impact of controlling small business thermostats through the same platform as the current Residential DR Program.
Duke Energy (Florida) Investments in Resiliency and Clean Energy
In January 2021, Duke Energy Florida (DEF) filed a petition for approval of a settlement in lieu of a GRC. The parties are requesting approval for pilot investments in microgrids, floating solar, hydrogen, and hybrid projects. The Settlement Agreement would allow DEF to implement a “Vision Florida” pilot program, consisting of capital and O&M investments associated with but not limited to: 1) up to four Emergency Relief Microgrid projects; 2) a floating solar pilot project at the Hines generating station; 3) an investment in some form of hydrogen power; and 4) solar plus storage projects that are intended to delay or avoid future transmission or distribution investments.
Alliant (Iowa) Resource Planning
In January 2020, a Final Decision required Alliant to conduct a resource planning process regarding its generation fleet, including an analysis of coal plant retirement scenarios. The settlement also contained a provision stating that Alliant “will continue to collaborate with stakeholders regarding the distribution system pilot projects, including non-wires alternatives…”. This Decision provided more transparency to Iowa customers since the state does not have a law requiring all IOUs to conduct integrated resource planning.
About EQ Research
EQ Research provides policy research, analysis and data services to businesses active in renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage and electric vehicles. EQ Research’s areas of expertise include state regulatory policy and utility proposals, state legislation, financial incentives, local government policy, RPS and REC issues, net metering, rate design, and general rate cases. Prior to forming EQ Research, several of its analysts managed and operated the nationally recognized DSIRE project for the U.S. Department of Energy, from 2007 to 2013. EQ’s team also includes the founders of Keyes & Fox LLP, a firm of national legal experts in renewables, distributed energy resources (DERs) and low-carbon transportation fuels. To gain expert insight from EQ Research or to learn more about other services offered through Policy Vista™, visit eq-research.com, call 919-238-4360 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.