NCSL’s Task Force on Energy Supply met in Seattle, May 18-19, 2022, for the first time this year. The Task Force meeting began with a day of tours to three different energy-related sites in the Seattle area. The meeting continued May 19 with a day of topical sessions.
The Task Force on Energy Supply brings together legislators to examine critical energy issues that policymakers face as they shape energy policies to build a reliable, affordable and resilient national energy system. The task force, created in 2009, consists of legislators and legislative staff with experience and an interest in developing and analyzing state energy policy.
May 18, 2022
- Snohomish County Public Utility District Arlington Microgrid and Clean Energy Center
The Arlington Microgrid and Clean Energy Center project represents new technology and approach for grid resiliency and renewable energy integration. The project includes a 500-kilowatt solar array with smart inverters, a 1,000 kW/1,400 kWh lithium-ion battery storage system and several vehicle-to-grid charging stations for use with the PUD’s electric fleet vehicles.
Bullitt Center, Seattle. The Bullitt Center is a commercial office building in Seattle. It was officially opened on Earth Day in 2013.The goal of the Bullitt Center is to drive change in the marketplace faster and further by showing what’s possible today.
- Seattle City Light Denny Substation. The Denny Substation represents a physical merging of public infrastructure, architecture, urban design, landscape architecture and interior design. It aims to create a symbol of pride for the South Lake Union neighborhood, Seattle City Light, the city of Seattle and the natural region that powers the city.
May 19, 2022
Welcome and Introductions
- Senator Eric Koch, Indiana (co-chair)
- Senator Dave Koehler, Illinois (co-chair)
Planning for Recovery: Disaster Mitigation Strategies to Boost Energy Resilience
Following the most destructive decade for natural disasters in U.S. history, states and electric utilities are exploring new planning approaches to mitigate against the effects of increasingly frequent and destructive weather events. These requirements include investments in hardening energy infrastructure, adjustments to planning methodologies around resource adequacy, and enhanced resource coordination as the energy mix changes. This session explored these shifting considerations as states and utilities plan for a cleaner, more resilient energy system—but one that will also face unprecedented challenges.
- Dave Plusquellic, director – Storm Protection Program and Support Services, Tampa Electric Company | Presentation
- Caroline Thomas Jacobs, director, California Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety | Presentation
- Eknath Vittal, principal technical leader, Electric Power Research Institute | Presentation
Emissions Market Mechanisms: From Policy to Implementation
The number of states with emissions reduction legislation has grown in recent years, with many of these states aiming toward a 100% reduction in carbon emissions before mid-century. But how do you track and enforce the reduction of carbon emissions? Carbon markets and carbon taxes are methods for enforcing emissions reduction, but there are currently only a couple of regional emissions trading markets (RGGI and TCI) and one state (CA) with an operating emissions market. Washington’s Climate Commitment Act (SB 5126, 2021) directed the state to implement the nation’s newest state-level emissions trading market, which is slated to begin in 2023. This session focused on understanding the development of Washington’s cap-and-invest policy at the legislative stage and how that policy will be implemented and enforced. Speakers explored the challenges and opportunities in using markets to meet emissions reduction goals.
- Kate Zyla, executive director, Georgetown Climate Center | Presentation
- Sen. Reuven Carlyle, chair, Washington Senate Committee on Environment, Energy and Technology | Presentation
- Luke Martland, climate commitment act implementation manager, Washington Dept. of Ecology | No Presentation
Keynote: Grid Modernization and Digital Infrastructure
A modern electric grid is a key component of meeting state energy policy goals. Digital infrastructure refers to using technology and data to integrate generation, transmission, and use of electricity. Also referred to as a “smart grid,” the development of modern digital infrastructure will make energy generation and transmission more efficient, reliable, flexible, and secure. This session provided an overview of digital infrastructure technologies and recent state and federal action in this sector. An industry representative discussed policy options and goals, how the industry is implementing these digital grid technologies, and the costs associated with upgrading the country’s electrical grid to serve modern demands.
- Guillaume Le Gouic, senior vice president - Power Systems, Schneider Electric | Presentation
Hydrogen: Opportunities and Challenges
This session took a deeper look at hydrogen technology, its various applications across the energy and transportation sectors, and its role in the energy system. Emerging technologies to create, capture, and utilize hydrogen will be discussed. Special focus was paid to hydrogen storage technologies and challenges and opportunities for the scalability of hydrogen resources. The session featured a discussion of how state legislatures are working to incorporate hydrogen into the energy mix. They also discussed more Federal programs and funding available to support states’ efforts, including how the Federal government plans to distribute roughly $9.5 billion for clean hydrogen provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- Recorded Remarks from Dr. Sunita Satyapal, director, U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office | Presentation
- Dr. Katherine Hurst, group manager/senior scientist, NREL Hydrogen Production Power and Storage Group | Presentation
- Mike McCurdy, ICF Incorporated | Presentation
- Sen. Sue Rezin, Illinois State Senator, Deputy Minority Leader | Presentation | Handout
New Regulatory Structures: The Promise and the Challenge
An increasing number of states have enacted policies to shift utility regulation away from the traditional cost-of-service model to one that’s focused on achieving certain outcomes. These states have turned to performance-based regulation (PBR) and multiyear rate plans (MYRPs) to break the link between utility capital investments and profits. Instead, these policies tie earnings to the utility’s ability to achieve certain outcomes—such as renewable integration, enhanced reliability, or customer satisfaction. This session explored the structure and potential benefits of these new programs, along with the challenges to implementation.
- Matthew McDonnell, managing director – U.S. Consulting, Strategen | Presentation
- Mark Newton Lowry, president, Pacific Economics Group Research | Presentation
- Jon Piliaris, director of regulatory Affairs, Puget Sound Energy | Presentation