Industry leaders collaborate to launch new regulatory innovation initiative
"Renovate" seeks to enable the evolution of state regulatory processes
WASHINGTON—A diverse group of national nonprofit organizations and industry thought leaders announced a new initiative to help evolve state regulatory processes for the power sector to keep pace with the dynamic energy needs of customers and develop more effective ways of working together to identify and deliver new solutions to those needs.
Renovate is convened by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) and launched in partnership with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and other leading electric industry and stakeholder groups (see the full list below).
The initiative’s vision is to enable the evolution of state regulatory processes and practices in order to address the scalable deployment of innovative technologies and business operating models that support the transition to a clean and modern energy grid.
“This groundbreaking initiative will help address the challenges in meeting customer needs and increased expectations for a modern grid enabled by new technologies, while continuing to provide clean, affordable, safe, and reliable electric service,” said Janet Gail Besser, Managing Director of Regulatory Innovation & Utility Business Models at SEPA.
“State commissions are focused on balancing the needs of many stakeholders and have constrained resources for developing processes to better understand emerging innovations and issues,” said NARUC President Nick Wagner. “That is why we are pleased, and find it important, to have partnerships such as we have with the Renovate Initiative and its wide range of stakeholders.”
To begin Renovate, a task force including commissioners, consumer and environmental advocates, legislators, and leaders from utilities, solution providers and state energy offices alongside initiative partners identified problem statements to guide the initiative’s focus. The problem statements include issues on the steep learning curve for all industry participants, managing system risk and uncertainty, managing increased rate of change and the balancing and cross-coordination of multiple priority sets.
Working with a task force of stakeholder representatives and partners, the next phase of the initiative entails identifying a set of solutions to designated problem statements, and identifying, assessing and benchmarking existing regulatory innovations—both domestically and globally—which will include the development and publication of key illustrative case studies.
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Renovate Partner Organizations:
The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an educational nonprofit working to facilitate the electric power industry’s smart transition to a clean and modern energy future through education, research, standards and collaboration. SEPA offers a range of research initiatives and resources, as well as conferences, educational events, advisory services, and professional networking opportunities. SEPA is founder and co-sponsor of North American Smart Energy Week (a trade show which includes Solar Power International and Energy Storage International among other smart energy topics) and winner of the Keystone Policy Center’s 2016 Leadership in Energy Award.
NARUC is a non-profit organization dedicated to representing the state public service commissions who regulate the utilities that provide essential services such as energy, telecommunications, power, water, and transportation.