center for partnerships & innovation

NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation

Energy Infrastructure Modernization

Energy Infrastructure Modernization

NARUC CPI works to advance an understanding of innovative technology possibilities among members. Current topics include: carbon capture, utilization, and storage; natural gas infrastructure modernization; grid-interactive efficient buildings; smart grid; and electric vehicles.

The market for coal-fired electricity has significantly evolved in recent decades, with coal's share of generation falling across the country. However, coal-fired power is an important resource in many states, and public utility commissions have an interest in understanding opportunities for the U.S. coal fleet to evolve. The U.S. Department of Energy and NARUC established a Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Partnership as a cooperative effort to highlight new technology and regulatory approaches to improving the environmental and economic performance of coal-fired power plants, understand new market opportunities for coal byproducts, and increase the deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects. Learn More

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The nation's natural gas infrastructure transports gas to homes, buildings, industrial customers, and utilities for use in heating and electric power. Public utility commissions are responsible for assuring the safety, reliability, and efficiency of the natural gas distribution network. The U.S. Department of Energy and NARUC established a Natural Gas Partnership (NGP) as a cooperative effort to understand emerging technologies and regulatory options for improving commission oversight of natural gas utilities. Learn More

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Advances in highly efficient building system technologies, energy storage, onsite power generation, and internet-connected and artificial intelligence-enabled building and grid control technologies are leading to great opportunities for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB). Sophisticated energy system controls and smart consumer technologies allow for two-way power flows and flexible management of both electricity demand and supply to improve the performance and service offerings of buildings and the electric power system. NARUC has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy and National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) to educate state regulators and energy officials about GEB opportunities and support grid access to GEB benefits. Learn More

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In recent years, state regulators have seen a surge in utility smart grid investments, from advanced metering infrastructure to smart appliances and distributed energy resources. In their role protecting the public interest, state regulators who oversee these utility investments seek to balance benefits and costs; one way to prudently leverage new technologies is by ensuring new components are interoperable and future-proofed. NARUC has partnered with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to educate regulators on the value of smart grid interoperability and technical standards that support it. Learn More

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Electric vehicle (EV) adoption is increasing around the country, resulting in a new kind of electricity load from EV charging. Commissions are grappling with related challenges, including how to shift this new load to off-peak hours and whether and how utilities may be involved in offering EV charging to drivers. NARUC, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, is working to explore these emerging topics with its members and experts. Learn More

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