However, the traditional model of energy generation and distribution is in midst of an evolution that, arguably, could be more impactful to the U.S. grid than deregulation has been. Even in competitive generation markets, retail interaction with customers has been handled almost exclusively by the utility as an energy aggregator with the ability to rate base. Places like New York are now serving as the test labs for alternate models as regulators there have been shifting their gazes toward distributed generation models where smaller, independent entities would drive power supply through resources co-located, or else located in proximity, with end users.
The Mid-Atlantic region (Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia) is currently at the forefront of discussions regarding the next generation of distributed electricity markets. Notable developments pushing the region into the spotlight recently include M&A activity, creativity on the part of public service commissions, local innovations in PACE finance, and increasing flexibility on the part of local utilities.
Topics: Water Energy Nexus, Utilities, Water, Carbon Emissions, Energy Security, Thermal Generation, Energy Policy, M&A, Structured Transactions & Tax, Energy Storage, Energy Efficiency, Power Generation, Microgrid, Energy Finance, Distributed Energy, Energy Management, Solar Energy, Renewable Energy, Wind, Oil & Gas
The Sullivan & Worcester LLP Energy Finance team recently hosted an event on New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative. In particular, the panel participants, including former New York Public Service Commission Commissioner Bob Curry, Mike Pantelogianis of Investec, Sarah Carson Zemanick of Cornell University and Jay Worenklein of US Grid Company, focused on how deals will get done under the new framework.
Particularly in the West, hydropower long has provided a significant portion of the energy required to meet the needs of a growing population. Increasingly, however, the circumstances that led to the dominant role played by hydropower generation in providing nearly boundless energy supplies in many parts of the country are changing. Factors that were not known about or anticipated in the decades when much of our existing hydropower infrastructure was constructed are creating challenges both to the long-term reliability and continued cost-effectiveness of traditional hydropower. Climate change and other factors are predicted to alter both the timing and pattern of precipitation and associated runoff that largely determines the availability and amount of hydropower.
New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding has the potential to change the way the electric industry functions in that state and beyond. The Empire State’s vision, which includes delegating distribution duties to utilities, reserving generation opportunities for third parties and shifting to a more renewable-focused generation mix, will change how business is done there while also potentially providing a template for other jurisdictions preparing for life under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
However, there are hurdles to overcome. Customers will not tolerate a reduction in reliability or resiliency. Nor will the benefits of clean generation be as joyously embraced if higher costs are the result. Outdated technological capabilities, security issues, job displacement and shareholder issues all create concerns that need to be addressed. That said, tremendous opportunities could exist for technology providers, generation platforms, financiers and others if the current vision of REV is implemented. Microgrid and cutting edge renewables are being promoted. Grid and demand management technologies will be in high demand, and legislative and financial support for projects will continue to ensure a favorable development environment for those with projects.
Please join the Sullivan & Worcester, LLP Energy Finance Team on October 1st live in our New York offices, or by dial-in, as we host a roundtable discussion on the REV proceeding and the unique business opportunities it could present. Panel participants include industry experts with unique perspectives on REV such as former New York Public Service Commission Commissioner Bob Curry, Mike Pantelogianis of Investec, Sarah Carson Zemanick of Cornell University and Jay Worenklein of US Grid Company. Interested parties can register here.
Topics: Utilities, Carbon Emissions, Energy Policy, Structured Transactions & Tax, Energy Efficiency, Power Generation, Microgrid, Energy Finance, Legislation, Distributed Energy, Energy Management, Renewable Energy
Seeing everyone from frenzied business travelers to teens huddled around charging stations has become almost de rigueur at airports across the globe. Part of this milieu is the accompanying nest of wires of various shapes, sizes and colors taking up space and tethering their testy owners to often tiny shelves; a truly wireless charging station has, thus far, been an unattainable dream.
Co-authors Josh Sturtevant and Morgan Gerard
With some of the highest electricity prices in the United States, and mindful of the massive disruptions to its electric service caused by Hurricane Sandy, New York has undertaken a major reform of its electric utility industry. This reform begins with the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC), which has recently issued a broad-scale initiative to change the way utility service is provided that may serve as an example nationwide. The reforms will radically alter the way electric utility services are provided and priced to customers.