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Flashpoint: Climate action win-win for future of Indiana, GOP and planet

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   September 21, 2020  /   Posted in Uncategorized  /   No Comments

Drake Abramson

Flashpoint: Climate action win-win for future of Indiana, GOP and planet

Drake Abramson | Chair, Indiana Federation of College Republicans

Across the country, young Republican leaders like myself recognize that failing to take action to curb carbon emission could hurt both the future of the planet and the Republican Party. We’ve spoken out that being a Republican shouldn’t mean having to choose between being a conservative and supporting climate-smart policies — and we’re not alone in this belief. A poll released in July by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions and American Conservation Coalition found 67 percent of millennial Republican voters believe the party should do more on climate change.

Thankfully, Sen. Mike Braun won’t need any convincing and is already leading the charge on an issue that’s a win-win for Republicans and the planet.

Just last year, the newly elected senator teamed up with Delaware Sen. Chris Coons to form the first bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. Recognizing that for too long, Washington has been paralyzed by partisanship, Sen. Braun formed this caucus to enable productive, bipartisan conversations about protecting our environment, securing America’s energy future and protecting American manufacturing jobs.

That’s why it was not surprising — but nevertheless, heartening — to see him continue to build on this legacy by recently introducing the Growing Climate Change Solution Act, a bill to make it easier for farmers, ranchers and foresters to sell credits on the voluntary carbon credit market that they can earn by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or sequestering carbon on their land.

It’s been estimated that a typical production farm could sequester about a ton of carbon dioxide per acre and current conditions on the voluntary market support about $15 per ton of carbon dioxide sequestered or avoided. It is solutions like these that will help support a thriving agricultural sector while reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the impact of climate change.

Sen. Braun should be applauded for his efforts and now, more than ever, his commitment to climate action is needed in the face of the public health crisis. Indiana’s clean energy economy has experienced significant setbacks over the past several months as business closures and layoffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic have taken their toll. Despite some gains in June, in Indiana, more than 12,000 clean energy workers have lost their jobs since March, mirroring a national trend that has seen our country’s clean energy workforce of 3.3 million workers reduced by more than half a million, a 15% decline since the onset of the pandemic.

America’s clean energy workers make up 40% of the energy workforce in our country. As Congress considers new strategies for rebuilding a post-pandemic economy, we can’t afford to leave Indiana’s clean energy workers out of the conversation. Sen. Braun recognizes that climate action is a win-win for the future of Indiana, the Republican Party and our planet — hopefully his colleagues in the Senate will join him.

 

 

Join Rep. Bacon and Sen. Stoops for Solar Policy Talk Fri., Sept 25

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   September 21, 2020  /   Posted in 2021 Indiana General Assembly, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Net Metering, solar, Uncategorized, Vectren  /   No Comments

bacon

Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) is solar homeowner and Vectren net metering customer.

Stoops

Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) is a member of the 21st Century Energy Development Task Force.

Indiana Energy Policy Q&A Webinar

with Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) 

and Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 AT 12 PM – 1 PM EDT On-line

Hosted by Solar United Neighbors and Indiana Distributed Energy Alliance

Join Solar United Neighbors, IndianaDG, and two veteran Indiana legislators to discuss the state of solar in Indiana. We'll learn about Vectren’s case to end net metering, the 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force that will submit a report with energy policy recommendations to the General Assembly in December, and how you can make your voice heard.
Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) and Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) will join us for a live Q&A, so get your questions ready!

Click here to register!:

https://us02web.zoom.us/.../reg.../WN_cRn8oVSIRmeGIWli9lChqg

DER Scores Big Win in US Wholesale Market with FERC Order 2222

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   September 18, 2020  /   Posted in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)  /   No Comments

FERC logo

Distributed Energy Scores Big Win in US Wholesale Markets with FERC Order 2222

September 18, 2020 By 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday issued Order 2222, its much anticipated ruling that paves the way for aggregated distributed energy resources (DERs) to compete alongside traditional power plants and other grid resources in wholesale markets.

Order 2222

FERC Order 2222 marked a victory for distributed energy resources competing against large power plants

The landmark ruling was heralded in a commission news release as important to “help usher in the electric grid of the future” by removing “the barriers preventing distributed energy resources from competing on a level playing field in the organized capacity, energy and ancillary services markets run by regional grid operators.”

Previous FERC rulings have opened wholesale markets to distributed energy resources in general, but Order 2222 will now enable these resources to be bundled together into a single bidding entity, opening new possibilities and competitive opportunities.

What’s included in FERC Order 2222

FERC’s expansive ruling opens the door to a wide array of technologies to participate. Aggregate resources can be located on a utility’s distribution system (or a subsystem) or on-site behind a customer’s meter.

Bundled technologies can include energy storage, on-site renewables, energy efficiency, distributed and backup generators, electric vehicles and their charging equipment, and other energy systems common in microgrids. There is no practical limitation on the number of distributed technologies that can be networked together in this manner, and combinations of generation and load modulation can be deployed simultaneously into one unified market offering.

Most notably, this new rule allows several distributed resources to aggregate to satisfy minimum size and performance requirements that they might not be able to attain individually, meaning aggregation can open access to any and all DERs located in competitive markets.

What happens next

The basis for FERC Order 2222 stems from the commission’s court-affirmed jurisdiction under Order 841 to regulate regional markets and any necessary participation criteria. FERC has now asserted that it wants aggregated resources to participate, so each regional grid operator must revise their tariffs and participation rules to accommodate this dynamic class of resource.

The order will officially take effect 90 days after publishing, and grid operators must then make compliance filings to the commission within 270 days of the order going into effect. Compliance plans are therefore due in about a year. They must  propose a pathway for participation that is customized to each market’s needs and outlines their timely implementation of the order.

Bundled technologies can include energy storage, on-site renewables, energy efficiency, distributed and backup generators, electric vehicles and their charging equipment, and other energy systems common in microgrids.

In announcing the final ruling, FERC made clear that aggregate resources will be able to “register their resources under one or more participation models that accommodate(s) the physical and operational characteristics of those resources,” restructuring capacity, energy and ancillary services markets run by regional grid operators.

Under these auspices, FERC has laid out minimum requirements for each market to conform to when setting up their participation models. They include:

  • Adhering to minimum size requirement no larger than 100 kW
  • Addressing technical considerations like locational value and distribution factors
  • Incorporating advanced metering, telemetry, and data requirements, among other provisions

Order 2222 upholds previous determinations that allow resources connected to the distribution grid to serve both retail and wholesale markets, but also directs grid operators to include “narrowly designed restrictions” necessary to prevent double counting of services.

This order does not supersede previous rulings that allow local utilities to prevent customers from bidding local demand response into regional markets, and it will still allow some of the smallest utilities (<4 million MWh) to opt their customers out all together.

Local utilities will also still maintain jurisdiction over interconnection of distributed resources to the electric grid, whether or not the resource intends to participate in retail activities. These types of local utility considerations will help prevent legal challenges that bogged down previous proceedings on demand response and energy storage.

Celebration abounds

The long-anticipated decision elicited positive reviews from industry leaders and recognition of FERC Chair Neil Chatterjee and Commissioner Richard Glick for their leadership.

“Today is another landmark day for competition and innovation in the power sector,” said Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Bachman in a statement, adding that the order “removes regulatory barriers to aggregation of distributed resources in wholesale electricity markets, and is the next step forward for energy storage and other distributed energy resources.”

Others noted that with so many nascent types of DERs emerging on the grid, that for many of them policy and regulation is ahead of technology, an uncommon situation.

“The draft rule is a big win. It provides an overarching framework for DERs to participate in wholesale markets,” said Ravi Manghani, Wood Mackenzie’s head of solar. “Policy is leading technology for the first time, at least as it pertains to emerging DERs like vehicle-to-grid.”

A multi-billion dollar opportunity awaits

The different regional wholesale markets oversee hundreds of millions of dollars in energy transactions every day, and FERC’s ruling will open the door for DERs to access those competitive opportunities.

Previous FERC orders allowing for grid-tied energy storage systems to access limited market opportunities (like frequency response) caused a bit of a battery gold rush in early mover markets like the PJM Interconnection. New wholesale revenue opportunities combined with declining costs and increasing retail value could spur new deployments and accelerate the already burgeoning DER sector.

While the specifics of each market’s implementation plans are still months away, FERC Order 2222 is a major win for the DER industry and will have a significant impact on how distributed resources are designed, operated, and compensated for years to come.

The FERC order is available here.

Matt Roberts is the director of strategic growth & government affairs at Microgrid Knowledge.

IndianaDG et al. Move to Dismiss Proposed Vectren EDG Tariff

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   September 17, 2020  /   Posted in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Net Metering, Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), Uncategorized, Vectren  /   No Comments

Today (9/17/2020) Indiana Distributed Energy Alliance (IndianaDG) joins with the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and others asking that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) dismiss Vectren's proposed EDG tariff to replace net metering. Please find below selected excerpts from the Joint Motion filed late this afternoon.

Motion-1

...

Mation-2

...

Motion-3

Download the entire document filed HERE:

45378 OUCC Joint Movants Motion for Summ Judgment_09172020

Open Letter to the 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   September 15, 2020  /   Posted in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), solar, Uncategorized  /   No Comments

Open Letter to the 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force

The Honorable Ed Soliday, Co-Chair
The Honorable Eric A. Koch, Co-Chair
21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force
200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Dear Representative Soliday and Senator Koch,

Our organizations represent thousands of Hoosiers around the state who want to see Indiana transition to a clean, just, and equitable 21st Century energy system. We believe that in order to reach that goal, customer-owned distributed energy resources (DERs) like end-use energy efficiency, rooftop solar, small-scale battery storage, microgrids, and electric vehicles must play key roles in our energy future. So far, however, consideration of these important assets to our future energy system has not been included in the discussions of the 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force.

While many other states have embraced distributed renewable energy with proactive policies that build strong consumer markets and encourage forward-looking investment, Indiana has seriously weakened its distributed generation public policy climate. Earlier this year, Vectren became the first investor-owned utility (IOU) in the state to petition the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission seeking to end net metering under SEA 309. Every other IOU must do the same no later than March 1, 2021. That means the electric utilities are expected to start a process that could severely limit the market for distributed solar and associated investments in Indiana, starting with Vectren by the end of this year and followed by other utility companies next year.

The IURC delivered a report in August to this Task Force showing that future scenarios with more distributed solar on the electric grid would lower overall system costs while improving system reliability. Additionally, a recent survey from Indiana University showed strong majorities of Hoosiers around the state support pro-solar policies and are interested in adding solar to power their own homes and communities. These are just two recent examples showing that DERs are both popular with Hoosiers and critical for our energy future.

Hoosiers see the benefits of adding more DERs to the grid, and they want to invest in their energy freedom. They know that more DERs mean more jobs, lower electric bills, and healthier communities. It ensures a more resilient energy system that also puts benefits and control into the hands of households, businesses, service organizations, schools, units of local government, places of worship, and other communities of interest around the state. Hoosiers want to be a part of a 21st Century energy system supported by legislative policies that encourage them to invest in DERs, both as individuals and communities.

How is the Task Force going to make meaningful policy recommendations to the General Assembly without further discussions of DERs like rooftop solar and associated investments? As freedom-loving and forward-looking Hoosiers, we ask that the Task Force include a substantive discussion of DERs in upcoming Task Force meetings, recognizing and acknowledging the critical role that these assets will have in shaping our state's energy future, while also providing ample opportunity for interested members of the public to provide meaningful comment during these public meetings despite the challenges associated with COVID-19.

We look forward to seeing the inclusion of DERs in upcoming Task Force meetings.

Sincerely,

Leslie Webb, President, Carmel Green Initiative

Kerwin Olson, Executive Director, Citizens Action Coalition

Shannon Anderson, Assistant Director, Earth Charter Indiana

Jean Webb, Energy Committee Chair, Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club

Jesse Kharbanda, Executive Director, Hoosier Environmental Council

Dori Chandler, Public Policy Director, Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light

Laura Ann Arnold, President, Indiana Distributed Energy Alliance (IndianaDG)

Wendy Bredhold, Senior Campaign Representative, Sierra Club/Indiana Beyond Coal

John & Carolyn Vann, Co-Chairs, Board of Directors, Solarize Indiana, Inc.

Zach Schalk, Indiana Program Director, Solar United Neighbors

Joey Myles, Solar United Neighbors of Indiana

Steve Francis, President, Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED)

John Blair, President, Valley Watch, Inc.

Alex Jorck, Vice President of Operations, Whole Sun Designs Inc.

Copyright 2013 IndianaDG