NCSL and NASEO Solar Workshop & Lab | San Antonio, Tex.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) hosted the Solar Workshop & Lab, a two-day meeting held on June 9-10, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.
This workshop, sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Energy, is the second in a series of two meetings. NCSL offered the first meering, the Solar Energy Bootcamp, in August 2016.
The Workshop offered legislators, legislative staff and state energy officials an opportunity to increase their knowledge of current and emerging solar technologies and policies. Attendees participated in a simulation lab that incorporated discussion and interactive computer models, allowing participants to engage in energy decision-making and to see how these decisions would affect prices and the electric grid.
The lab enabled participants to see the outcomes of different energy planning choices in an informal, consequence-free environment.
(Left: Solar workshop attendees touring the KACO new energy facility in San Antonio, it is a solar inverter manufacturer.)
The workshop also featured presentations from national experts on emerging and continuing. Attendees also participated in a site visit to KACO new energy, a solar inverter manufacturing facility.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Solar Market Update
The program began with an state update on the solar energy landscape. Topics included: growth trends, technologies, jobs and economic development growth.
Legislatures, Energy Offices and Public Utility Commissions: Roles, Jurisdictions and Interactions
The rapid growth of solar energy is generating discussion in multiple areas of state governments. This session explored the roles of legislatures, state energy offices and public utility commissions in addressing opportunities and challenges presented by solar power. Presenters also discussed how these entities are working together to address solar issues.
- Representative Jeff Morris, (D-WA) | No Presentation
- Miles Keogh, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners | No Presentation
- Brian Granahan, Illinois Power Agency | Presentation
Case Study: CPS Energy Simply Solar Programs
CPS Energy has dramatically expanded solar adoption in San Antonio through multiple program models. In 2016, CPS’ solar rebate program saw a doubling of installed capacity, while the utility launched two innovative pilot programs aimed at making solar accessible to all customers.
Lunch Discussion: Grid Technologies
New technologies—including smart meters, energy storage and demand response—are rapidly transforming the electric grid. How will these technologies, along with distributed generation sources like solar, change the operation of the grid and what might this mean for policymakers?
- Adam Cooper, the Edison Foundation Institute for Electric Innovation | Presentation
Net Metering and Rate Design Trends
While most states have net metering, the rapid growth of solar has spurred an increasing number of discussions around how customers are charged for their use of the electric grid. This session explored how changes in rate design are being used to address the growth of residential solar ownership, and how these adjustments can shift customer costs, benefits and behavior. Experts discussed state ratemaking options, legislative and commission trends, what they mean for utilities and consumers, and where states may be headed in the future.
- Galen Barbose, Electricity Markets and Policy Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Presentation
- Jim Lazar, Senior Advisor, Regulatory Assistance Project | Presentation
NASEO and NCSL attendees toured KACO new energy.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
MegaModel: A Utility Business Model Interactive
Attendees played a new interactive learning exercise developed by NARUC. To play the game participants work in teams to run a power company using different business models: performance based, cost of service and transactive energy. It explains what those are, and explores their implications for affordability, reliability, competitiveness and sustainability. Teams confront changes in the power sector like solar integration, coal retirements, gas price spikes and utility workforce changes. It’s called the MegaModel game and it is fun to play, but it’s also instructive about how utility business models are evolving in the power sector.
(Right) Attendees participating in the NARUC MegaModel, an interactive simulation on utility business models. In the photo, from left Senator Pat Spearman (D-Nev.), Brian Allred (Legislative staff, Utah), Representative Jeff Morris (D-Wash.), Austin Perea (speaker, Greentech Media) and Assemblyman Chris Brooks (D-Nev.).
- Miles Keogh, Kerry Worthington, Kiera Zitelman, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) | No Presentation
Lunch Discussion: Cooperatives and Distributed Solar
- Michael Leitman, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association | Presentation