Task Force on Energy Supply Presentations | 2018 Capitol Forum


Friday, Dec. 7, 2018

NCSL Capitol forum logo. The NCSL Task Force on Energy Supply explored a range of topics on Friday, Dec. 7 at NCSL's 2018 Capitol Forum in Washington, D.C. The meeting was held at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. Topics included grid modernization, transmission planning and renewable power goals. 

Task Force members joined members of the Indian Country Energy & Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG) for breakfast and networking for the first part of the meeting.

Grid Modernization and Developments in Indian Country

Many rural communities and Indian reservations have homes dispersed over large areas, often far from the power grid. Extending utility distribution lines to these rural or less populated areas is expensive, but advancements, smart grid efforts and new technologies offer opportunities to power tribal nations and rural communities. Microgrids, which can operate autonomously from the larger grid, can be used to bolster resilience and provide consistent power. This session discussed recent developments associated with grid modernization across the country, how advanced technologies may offer innovative solutions, and highlight the unique opportunities and barriers associated with Navajo Nation’s tribal utility authority.

  • Kyle Fricker, technology manager, Solar Energy Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy | Presentation
  • Derek Dyson, shareholder, Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke | Presentation

Does a Reliable Electrical Grid Require Federal Intervention?

Electricity markets are evolving quickly thanks to the expansion of low-priced natural gas and cheap renewable energy, as well as new approaches to managing demand and production. The federal government, regional organizations and states are all taking a variety of steps to address these market changes and to protect or encourage specific electricity generation resources. This roundtable discussion included a variety of stakeholders who discussed the recent changes to electricity markets around the country, actions under consideration and potential outcomes.

  • Darius Dixon, energy reporter, Politico (moderator)
  • Catherine Jereza, deputy assistant secretary, Transmission Permitting & Technical Assistance, U.S. Department of Energy | No presentation
  • Derek Bandera, executive director, Federal Regulatory Affairs, Midcontinent Independent System Operator  | No presentation
  • Stephen Munro, U.S. Policy analyst & editor, Bloomberg New Energy Finance  | No presentation
  • Elise Caplan, director, Electric Market Analysis, American Public Power Association  | No presentation

Transmission Planning in Transition

As the grid modernizes, rapid shifts on the distribution, grid along with the increase in natural gas and renewable energy generation, portend major changes for transmission investment and planning. New energy management and distributed generation technologies can allow more efficient use of existing transmission corridors and in some instances, eliminate the need to build costly transmission. This session’s expert panel explored how the shifts in generation resources and energy management technologies are affecting current and future transmission needs. It also discussed how state policy influences transmission planning, and ultimately, consumer electricity costs.

  • Mike Ross, senior vice president of Governmental Affairs, Southwest Power Pool | Presentation

100% Renewable Power Goals—Are they Realistic with Today’s Power Grid?                 

Cities and states are increasingly setting higher targets for renewable electricity and more customers are requesting renewable energy, but what will be the impact on the electric grid? Is targeting a 100 percent renewable grid a feasible goal given today’s technology? How might this trend effect reliability, affordability and energy markets? Presenters examined these questions and potential policy solutions.

  • Bethany Frew, Forecasting & Modeling Group, National Renewable Energy Laboratory | No presentation
  • Nick Martin, manager of Environmental Policy, Xcel Energy |  Presentation
  • Sean Gallagher, vice president of State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association | Presentation
Business Meeting
  • Discuss grid modernization report
  • Session ideas for upcoming meetings
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 

The group walked to the FERC and toured the FERC’s Market Monitor Section.

  • Discussion with Commissioner Neil Chatterjee

Energy Supply Task Force Group Dinner

Meeting Adjourned