research lab

NARUC Research Lab

Our Mission

NARUC's Research Lab helps State Commissions serve the public interest by delivering research and results to the Committees on Electricity, Energy Resources and the Environment, Gas, Water, and Critical Infrastructure. We are funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and other federal agencies.

The Research Lab staff creates and runs projects that use research, papers, trainings, games, webcasts, and facilitated dialogues that provide answers to questions Commissioners face in their decision-making. These projects currently address policy questions surrounding electric transmission, natural gas supply, liquefied natural gas, energy efficiency, wind, solar, and coal-fired generation, and infrastructure and cybersecurity issues for the energy, water, and telecommunications sectors.


What's Next:

Upcoming events will be announced soon. Please check back for updates. Thank you!


Past Events:

Webinar | Transmission Technologies: High Performance Conductors 

July 14, 2016 | 2:00 p.m. EDT

The NARUC Lab is doing a webinar on July 14, 2016, at 2 PM EDT on transmission technologies that let you increase power flows and lower line losses without needing to site any new right of way or even install new towers. This award winning technology has been around a while and was developed to improve high temperature performance, and was recently used to replace an AEP line in Texas without de-energizing the line. I geeked out over this project and asked the CTC folks who developed it to come talk about it - I promise not to let it turn into a pitch. At the end we'll have a conversation about ways to squeeze the grid we've got for more reliability, affordability and performance without getting into siting quagmires.

 

Webinar | U.S. Shale Resources - Maximizing Benefits

July 11, 2016 | 1:00 p.m. EDT

With the rapid growth in production of natural gas and associated liquids across the country, this webinar will explore the economic development opportunities and challenges associated with this abundant resource and the infrastructure needed to safely transport it. Come gain understanding of the Natural Gas Liquids being produced, and the issues surrounding the development of this valuable commodity beyond just electric power generation.

You are invited to join New York Commissioner Diane X. Burman, Chair of the Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership as she moderates a conversation between Pennsylvania Commissioner Rob Powelson and Dr. James Bradbury, Senior Policy Advisory for Climate, Environment & Efficiency, Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, US Department of Energy.

This webinar is the first of a series of webinars under the Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership (NGIMP) with NARUC and DOE.

View Webinar Slides

View Webinar Recording

 

Webinar | IT and Operational Technology Convergence Webinar

July 8, 2016 | 2:00 p.m. EDT

In the past, Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) systems were kept fairly separate. IT was traditionally associated with back-office systems including accounting, billing, HR records, and customer data. OT was traditionally associated with field devices and the systems to monitor and control them such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and distribution management systems (DMS). These technologies were developed in silos because they were managed by separate departments that had different objectives. However, with technological advancements over the years, convergence of IT and OT has been taking place and there are quantifiable benefits to utility companies as well as customers. We will joined by John McDonald of General Electric and Daniel Ohlendorf of Pacific Gas and Electric in a panel-style discussion moderated by Andrew Bochman of Idaho National Laboratory. The panelists will provide insight into how utilities can leverage this convergence for smarter, more cost-effective, and more reliable operation.

You will learn what convergence of the IT and OT means, what advancements have been made as a result of utilities addressing internal IT/OT issues, what some of the security implications of greater convergence are, and more!

View Webinar Recording

 

Webinar | Smart Inverters: The Link between Smart Grid and Solar 

June 27, 2016 | 1:00 p.m. EDT

The pace of smart inverter implementation is making waves in many states and now is the time to be informed on what you, the regulatory staff, should know! Smart inverters piqued states interest after Germany experienced blackouts due to voltage controls for distributed energy resources. Now, the technology is experiencing rapid development and standardization. 

Here to help understand one states’ point of view, California staffers will share their experience during the collaboration to develop Rule 21, the current status of implementation, and what the future may hold for this tariff as a policy tool and smart inverters as a deployable technology. They will also address some of the “hindsight is 20/20” questions that they wish they knew a few years ago. 

Participation is encouraged (and potentially mandatory for anyone that knows Miles!). The phones will be open for participants to ask questions, contribute their experiences, and gain a situational awareness of your fellow states.

 

Webinar | Energy Resilience and Risk Management

NCSL and NARUC

May 25-26, 2016 | Denver, Colorado

This two day workshop will explore risk-based tools that we can use to deal with threats to the grid that we haven't had to deal with before. 

View Draft Agenda

Topics will include: 

  • Overview of the nation’s near term and long term energy outlook
  • Discussion of natural and man-made threats to the nation’s critical energy infrastructure
  • Cyber security and ways state policymakers, federal agencies and utilities respond to threats
  • Participation in NARUC’s Resilience Lab, a scenario-based role-playing exercise
  • Tour of Western Area Power Administration’s Electric Power Training Center
  • Discussion on state policies and actions to ensure CI maintains operations during disasters

Need more information?  Please contact Sharon Thomas at sthomas@naruc.org.

 

"Blurred Lines": Changing Federal / State Jurisdiction

National Council on Electricity Policy Meeting

April 25-26 | Washington D.C.

View Draft Agenda

Topics will include:

  •          Eastern Interconnection States Planning Council (EISPC) activities
  •          Transmission projects like the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Transmission Line 
  •          Changes in federal leasing policy affecting coal mining on federal lands
  •          Demand response and the implications of EPSA v FERC
  •          The Clean Power Plan, post-stay
  •          Responding to national-level energy emergencies with mutual assistance

Need more information?  Please contact Jan Brinch at jbrinch@naruc.org 

 

NARUC- MARC Educational Site Visit in North Dakota

June 14, 2016 | Bismarck, North Dakota

NARUC’s Clean Coal and Carbon Management Subcommittee hosted a site visit in conjunction with the Mid-America Regulatory Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota, Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Attendees toured Basin Electric’s Dakota Gasification Company, where lignite coal (the youngest coal, geologically) is gasified and turned into synthetic natural gas, syngas. Dakota Gasfication is America’s largest carbon sequestration project and pipes CO2 north to Canada, where it is used for enhanced oil recovery. Forty MARC attendees learned all the products that can be created from lignite, and about the mining process and mine remediation at the nearby lignite mine.


Research Lab Staff

Have a question? We’re friendly and here to help!

 

Projects

We have a number of currently active projects.

  • Electricity Policy (Funded by the US Department of Energy)
  • Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization (Funded by the US Department of Energy)
  • Smart Grid (Funded by the US Department of Commerce)
  • Nuclear Energy Issues (Funded by the US Department of Energy)