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New NARUC Publications Highlight the Role of DERs and Grid Resilience
WASHINGTON (April 20, 2020) — Two new publications from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners provide essential resources for utility regulators and others to better understand resilience and how distributed energy resources can facilitate recovery from disruptions and threats.
Advancing Electric System Resilience with Distributed Energy Resources: A Review of State Policies addresses the role of state regulators in electricity system resilience, the relationship of distributed energy resources to resilience and how states can implement policies to expand DER deployment to improve resilience. Its companion piece, Advancing Electric System Resilience with Distributed Energy Resources: Key Questions and Resources, provides a foundation for state public utility commissions to frame how they review proposed utility investments that could offer resilience benefits and includes a list of relevant resources to improve regulators' ability to oversee resilience investments and obtain better outcomes for customers.
The publications were developed by NARUC's Center for Partnerships & Innovation as part of its involvement in the Solar Energy Innovation Network, a collaborative research effort led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and supported by the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office.
"State regulators are increasingly expected to assess utility resilience investments and practices to determine prudence and evaluate the performance of these efforts," said Commissioner Ann Rendahl of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, chair of NARUC's Committee on Electricity. "These publications offer a comprehensive perspective for regulators and other state and local officials, moving us closer to reaching the goal of greater system resilience."
"As utilities, customers and third parties continue to invest in distributed energy resources, there's a tremendous opportunity for state regulators to look at intersections between the electric distribution system and resilience," said CPI Director Danielle Sass Byrnett. "These resources will help state regulators define resilience, understand investment options and incorporate resilience into planning."
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.
About the Solar Energy Innovation Network
The Solar Energy Innovation Network assembles diverse teams of stakeholders to research solutions to real-world challenges associated with solar energy adoption.