Tag: Distributed Energy

1
The Blockchain Energizer – Volume 33
2
California SB 1399 Proposes to Expand Renewable Energy Opportunities for Non-Residential Customers
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CAISO Urges Flexibility and Coordination to Advance Distributed Energy Resource Aggregations at FERC

The Blockchain Energizer – Volume 33

By Buck B. Endemann, Benjamin L. Tejblum, Daniel S. Cohen

There is a lot of buzz around blockchain technology and its potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries from finance and health care to real estate and supply chain management. Many institutions and companies are forming partnerships to explore how blockchain ledgers and smart contracts can be deployed to manage and share data, create transactional efficiencies, and reduce costs.

While virtual currencies and blockchain technology in the financial services industry have been the subject of significant debate and discussion, blockchain applications that could transform the energy industry have received comparatively less attention. Every other week, the K&L Gates’ Blockchain Energizer will highlight emerging issues or stories relating to the use of blockchain technology in the energy space. To subscribe to the Blockchain Energizer, please click here.

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Four New York Utilities Will Collaborate to Develop “Transformative” Use Cases for “Shared Blockchain Infrastructure.”
  • Franklin County Public Utility District (“PUD”) Becomes Third Washington PUD to Place a Moratorium on Cryptocurrency Miner Applications for Electricity.
  • Green Power Exchange and bitcoinClean Developers Partner to Promote a Green Energy Trading and a Green bitcoin Hardfork.

To view more information on theses topics in Volume 33 of the Blockchain Energizer, click here.

California SB 1399 Proposes to Expand Renewable Energy Opportunities for Non-Residential Customers

By Buck Endemann and Nicholas Nahum

Introduced in February by State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), California Senate Bill (“SB”) 1399 would create a new program in which non-residential customers could facilitate the development of off-site renewable energy projects of up to 20 megawatts (“MW”) to satisfy their energy needs.

Traditionally, California’s “over the fence” rule limits distributed solar producers to selling power directly to two or fewer properties and only if such properties are located immediately adjacent to the property where the power is produced. [1] These restrictions, along with California’s net metering tariffs, have historically deterred property owners from installing distributed energy generation beyond what is necessary to service their on-site electricity needs. Properties with little electricity demand but large generating potential (like warehouses or parking lots) are therefore provided little incentive to invest in on-site solar projects without a willing (and often large) buyer.

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CAISO Urges Flexibility and Coordination to Advance Distributed Energy Resource Aggregations at FERC

By Buck B. Endemann, William M. Keyser, and Molly Suda

Introduction

As previously covered by this blog, on November 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) to remove barriers so that electric storage resources and distributed energy resource aggregations can better participate in the capacity, energy, and ancillary services markets operated by Regional Transmission organizations (“RTOs”) and independent system operators (“ISOs”).  This post will focus on the response to those proposals submitted by the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”), particularly as they relate to distributed energy resource aggregations.

FERC defines distributed energy resource aggregators as entities that aggregate one or more distributed energy resources, such as electric storage resources, distributed generation, thermal storage, and electric vehicles (collectively, “DERs”), and offer those resources into wholesale markets.  The NOPR called for comments on what types of market rules should be established to provide DERs with more certainty and to remove barriers to entry.

The California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) is one of the largest ISOs in the nation, responsible for managing about 80 percent of California’s electricity flow.  Having recently received FERC approval of its own DER aggregation participation model, CAISO has a head start on incorporating DER aggregations into its energy and ancillary services markets.[1]  In fact, in a statement issued concurrently with the NOPR, Acting FERC Chairman Cheryl LaFleur specifically identified CAISO’s DER aggregation rules as a model to study and evaluate any lessons learned from CAISO’s implementation of those rules.

CAISO submitted its comments on FERC’s proposal on February 13, 2017.  With its recent experience in developing a DER program, CAISO’s comments offer insights that may guide FERC as it works toward a final rule.[2]  Overall, CAISO’s comments strongly support incorporating DER aggregations into the nation’s energy and ancillary services markets, so long as each RTO/ISO is given the flexibility to develop participation models that reflect regional and regulatory preferences in generation, transmission, and distribution assets.  CAISO also predicts that the roles and responsibilities of transmission and distribution operators will experience significant change in the coming years, and that FERC, electric grid operators, and market participants can best encourage innovation and resiliency by avoiding any overly-prescriptive models that stifle DER participation.[3]

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