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NARUC and NASEO Establish New Joint Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning
ORLANDO — The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Nick Wagner has announced the formation of a new task force in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials. The task force will help develop new approaches to better align distribution system planning and resource planning processes.
With support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Joint Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning will be a two-year collaborative initiative of NARUC and NASEO to provide a forum for participants from 12 to 15 states to examine key planning process intersections to test concepts, learn from national-caliber experts, and outline policy and technical needs. Direct participants will develop tools and roadmaps available to all NARUC and NASEO members to adapt and refine for use in their states.
“The NARUC and NASEO partnership, through the Joint Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning, will help members who are navigating uncharted territory, providing a set of tools to help the integration of new technologies in the power system in harmony with individual state policy frameworks while continuing to provide customers safe, reliable and affordable energy," said Wagner.
Co-chaired by Colorado Public Utilities Commission Chairman Jeffrey Ackermann and Dr. Laura Nelson, Governor’s Energy Advisor and Executive Director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development, the task force will provide a forum for the development of state-led pathways toward a more resilient, efficient, and affordable grid.
“As the electric sector, and surrounding energy economy, undergoes pressure to evolve, there are expectations upon the regulatory process to keep up,” said Ackermann. “This will require an unprecedented level of regulatory and policy coordination at the state level, specifically between regulatory commissions and state energy offices."
“State energy directors and utility commissioners are increasingly engaging to help inform one another’s actions and realize more efficient outcomes for our energy system and for the public good,” said Nelson. “This is a further evolution of that collaboration as we look at an evolving electric system and associated markets.”
Co-vice chairs for the task force are Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Commissioner Beth Trombold and California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister.
“This NARUC-NASEO Comprehensive Electricity Planning Task Force aligns perfectly with the comprehensive grid modernization work underway with Ohio’s PowerForward endeavor—which focuses in part on the distribution system and how it can be improved through innovation to better the lives of Ohioans. The creation of the task force is another example of the important leadership demonstrated by NARUC as it strives to help state organizations, and ultimately consumers,” said Trombold.
"New technologies are expanding the range of customer choice and accelerating the pace of change in energy markets,” said McAllister. “I have high hopes that this collaboration between NASEO and NARUC will enhance our collective understanding of today's challenges and ensure that state-level energy policy and utility regulation positively complement one another moving forward."
The task force will have the opportunity to coordinate sessions at each NARUC and NASEO meeting, organize educational efforts within both organizations, and act as a resource for state leaders on relevant matters. The task force will be supported by NARUC and NASEO staff, in addition to the U.S. Department of Energy.
The full roster of task force participants will be announced in February 2019. The first task force working meeting will occur in spring 2019. For more information, see the Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning fact sheet at bit.ly/NARUCNASEOFacts.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.
The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) is the only national nonprofit organization of the nation's 56 state and territory governor-designated energy directors and their offices. NASEO facilitates information exchange among state energy officials and serves as a resource for the states. NASEO advocates the interests of state energy offices to Congress and federal agencies on a wide range of energy issues, such as energy assurance, reliability, and resilience; cybersecurity; energy efficiency, renewable, fossil, and nuclear resources; advanced transportation systems; research, innovation, and economic development; and affordability.