Advanced Energy Economy Institute (free download with registration)
[Green Tech Media] Utilities join solar and grid companies to propose new operational and revenue models to meet low-carbon, renewable goals. California is already changing its utility and energy regulations to incorporate rooftop solar, behind-the-meter energy storage, plug-in electric vehicles and other grid edge resources, arguably faster than any other state. But a group of utilities and energy industry members have ideas for even more radical transformations ahead.
On Tuesday, the Advanced Energy Economy Institute released a report that calls for California regulators to consider entirely new ways for its major utilities to invest in and operate a distributed energy resource (DER)-rich grid, and how to get paid for it.
The report, “Toward a 21st Century Electricity System in California,” lays out a laundry list of concepts that could help utilities shed their institutional need for investing in traditional generation and grid infrastructure, and embrace customer-owned and third party-controlled DERs as an alternative.
The ideas aren’t that novel in themselves. What’s more noteworthy is the list of participants in the working group that created the document. That list includes California utilities Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, as well as DER providers like SolarCity, Stem, SunPower, Enphase, EnerNOC, Chargepoint and SunEdison, which have at times sparred with the state’s utilities over how to balance utility and third-party interests when it comes to distributed energy.