center for partnerships & innovation

Past Events from CPI

At CPI, we're always up to something. Here are some past events:


October 16 18, 2019: Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Site Visit to Virginia

Commissioners joined a site visit to the Bristol, Virginia, area in October 2019, under the DOE-NARUC Carbon Capture, Storage, and Utilization Partnership. This visit highlighted Appalachian coal production and a method of using local coal to produce electricity and valuable products while lowering environmental impacts.

Tour highlights:

  • Dominion Energy's Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in St. Paul, VA: This 600-MW plant uses circulating fluidized bed (CFB) technology to produce electricity from a mix of biomass and coal.
  • Coronado Coal's Buchanan Mine Complex in Raven, VA: This underground mine, operating since 1983, produced 4.9 megatons of low-volatile metallurgical coal in 2017. It is one of the largest and most cost-competitive metallurgical coal mines in the Central Appalachian Basin.


October 10, 2019: NARUC Innovation Webinar: The Volkswagen Settlement: An Electrifying Opportunity for EV Charging

Funds from the Volkswagen Settlement present an excellent one-time opportunity for states to shore up their electric vehicle charging infrastructure—if they can navigate the required interagency coordination.

Moderator: Commissioner Maria Bocanegra, Illinois Commerce Commission
- Nick Nigro, Founder, Atlas Public Policy
- Hanna Terwilliger, Economic Analyst, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
- Dan Weekley, Vice President of Energy Innovation Policy & Implementation, Dominion Energy

View presentation

View recording


September 19, 2019: NARUC Innovation Webinar: Nature vs. Infrastructure: Understanding Threats and Options for Energy Resilience.

Wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, and other natural disasters are growing more frequent and severe. These events have the potential to cause widespread, prolonged outages. On this webinar, speakers will share strategies on collaboration between the federal government, state public utility commissions, utilities, and other stakeholders to ensure that energy infrastructure, particularly the electricity distribution system, is resilient to these growing threats. 
This discussion will offer perspectives on the following questions: 
- How are utilities hardening distribution infrastructure to deal with extreme weather? 
- What does resilience mean to energy regulators, and how is it measured? 
- What tools are available to understand the costs and benefits of storm hardening and resilience investments? 

Moderator: Commissioner Tim Echols, Georgia Public Service Commission
- Craig Zamuda, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy
- Pete Larsen, Deputy, Electricity Markets & Policy Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
- Brian D'Agostino, Director of Fire Science & Climate Adaptation, and Katie Giannecchini, Meteorologist, San Diego Gas & Electric

View Recording

View Slides


August 15, 2019: NARUC Innovation Webinar: Grid Valuation Framework Guidelines 

3:00-4:00pm ET / 12:00-1:00pm PT

Across the electric power industry, a diverse stakeholder community applies a variety of methodologies to assess the value of different actions. These options range from investments in generation, transmission, or distribution assets to compensation mechanisms for distributed technologies to any other policies or projects in the electricity sector. The resulting value assessments often vary widely for the same or similar types of projects. In response to this phenomenon, the Valuation Framework Guidelines document offers a framework that provides guidance to those who seek or rely on valuation studies for:

  • Implementation of clear, transparent, and repeatable valuation processes; and
  • Practices that can generate results that are easier for decision makers and the broader stakeholder community to understand, interpret and compare.

The Valuation Framework Guidelines document is an output of the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium project, “Grid Services and Technologies Valuation Framework Development”. A team of national laboratory personnel have organized its development through a review of existing valuations and standards, experience with valuation exercises, and discussions with a stakeholder advisory group (SAG) comprised of industry, regulators, and other organizations. This webinar summarizes the guidelines surrounding the framework.

View the recording of the webinar.

View the presentation slides from the webinar. 

View final products of the GMLC 1.2.4 Valuation Framework documents

- Summary of the Full Report

- Guidelines Full Report

- Standards Review Report


July 23, 2019: Renewable Natural Gas Workshop

During the 2019 NARUC Summer Policy Summit, on July 23, 2019, the Committee on Gas hosted a Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Workshop with support from the U.S. Department of Energy / NARUC Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership. The objectives of the educational Workshop were to: (1) provide information about RNG to build a general understanding, (2) present a broad range of policy perspectives, from gas utilities to environmental advocates to state regulators, on RNG, and (3) illuminate policy and regulatory options for states interested in advancing RNG. The workshop was conducted with an introductory presentation followed by three sessions of expert speakers who engaged in robust informative dialogue with NARUC members and Workshop attendees.

View Summary


July 15, 2019: Briefing on Tax Credits for Carbon Capture & Storage: An Update on Treasury Guidance

2:00-3:00pm ET / 11:00am-12:00pm PT

In February 2018, the Bipartisan Budget Act expanded and extended tax credits for carbon capture and storage (CCS), providing up to $35 per ton of captured carbon used in enhanced oil recovery or up to $50 per ton of sequestered carbon. Carbon capture advocates cheered the bill as an important boost for CCS projects. However, the law left many decisions for the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service to address in future guidance. On May 2, the IRS issued a request for comments on issues related to the tax credits, the first step in developing regulatory guidance. On this webinar, experts from Van Ness Feldman LLP and Steptoe & Johnson LLP summarized the questions to be answered in guidance and highlighted issues of particular importance to state public utility commissions.

Moderator: Hon. Jeremy Oden, Alabama


  • Michael Platner, Senior Tax Counsel, Van Ness Feldman LLP
  • Hunter Johnston, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • Lisa Zarlenga, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP

View recording


July 9, 2019: The 411: Cybersecurity Fundamentals that Drive Infrastructure Resilience

Cybersecurity threats to infrastructure are growing and consequences could be devastating. This webinar highlights key cybersecurity principles and how electric and gas utilities implement them to enhance resilience.

View recording


June 27, 2019: NARUC-NASEO Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning webinar: Hawaii Advanced Visualization Energy Nexus (HAVEN) 

3:00-4:00pm ET / 12:00-1:00pm PT / 9:00am-10:00am HT

The analysis of outputs from energy planning models is often difficult to understand. This is especially true when explaining the impacts of complex, integrated data sets to stakeholders and policy makers who may not be well-versed in the data and models used in the analyses. It was under these circumstances that the Hawaii State Energy Office partnered with the University of Hawaii’s Laboratory for Advanced Visualization and Applications, Hawaiian Electric Companies, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to initiate the Hawaii Advanced Visualization Energy Nexus (HAVEN) project. HAVEN is an open source data visualization tool that Hawaii is developing to analyze and communicate the tradeoffs and interdependencies of energy resource plans. It will be available for other states to use at no cost.

View recording


June 13, 2019: Energy Efficiency and Emerging Technology: How State Programs Can Drive Innovation and Deliver Benefits

Energy efficiency (EE) programs have reduced electricity consumption and saved ratepayers money for decades. With new technologies entering the market, how are states changing the way they look at EE programs? This moderated discussion provides an overview of state efforts to enhance EE programs to deliver environmental, economic, and social benefits by expanding the definition of energy efficiency, directing strategic utility investments, and improving cost-benefit analyses of a wide range of EE solutions. Panelists discussed recent legislation and regulatory developments in Massachusetts that can serve as learning opportunities for other states as well as a broader view of other efforts to grow the EE toolkit.

Moderator: Commissioner Ann Rendahl, Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission


  • Maggie McCarey, Energy Efficiency Division Director, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
  • Todd Olinsky-Paul, Project Director, Clean Energy Group
  • Pat Stanton, Director of Policy, E4TheFuture

View presentation

Webinar recording on the NARUC YouTube page


May 16, 2019: Stakeholder Involvement in Integrated Distribution Planning

Stakeholders are a key party for all Commissions with stakeholder engagement techniques vary from state to state. On this webinar, we take a closer look at a recent, robust stakeholder process in the District of Columbia, called "Modernizing the Energy Delivery System for Increased Sustainability" (MEDSIS). 

Moderator: Wally Nixon, Commission Legal Advisor, Arkansas Public Service Commission


  • Naza Shelley, Attorney Advisor, DC Public Service Commission
  • Susan Mora, Director of Utility Innovation, Exelon/Pepco
  • Sharon Allan, Chief Innovation Officer, Smart Electric Power Alliance

View presentation 

Webinar recording on the NARUC YouTube page


April 11, 2019: Lessons Learned in Applying Performance Incentive Mechanisms

This webinar explored what regulators can learn from past efforts to use performance incentive mechanisms to enhance utility regulation. Performance incentive mechanisms (PIMs) are one regulatory, outcome-based, revenue recovery augmentation tool that provides a financial incentive for the utility to meet performance goals. Traditionally, PIMs have been used to drive improvements in specific public policy goals such as energy efficiency, service quality, and, at times, demand response and customer service. Lately, states are looking to apply PIMs to broader public policy goals and increased utility performance overall.

Moderator: Commissioner Marion Gold, Rhode Island Public Utility Commission


  • Commissioner Abigail Anthony, Rhode Island Public Utility Commission
  • Peter Cappers, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

View presentation

Webinar recording on the NARUC YouTube page


March 14, 2019: Evolving Approaches to Electricity System Planning

Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) shared updates on state approaches to distribution system planning, grid modernization, and integrated resource planning. Topicsincluded analyses of the accuracy of past IRP load forecasts and utility procurement.

Moderator: Commissioner M. Beth Trombold, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio


  • Juan Pablo Carvallo, Sr. Scientic Engineering Associate, LBNL
  • Lisa Schwartz, Deputy Leader/Energy Efficiency Team Lead, LBNL
  • Natalie Mim's Frick, Energy Efficiency Program Manager, LBNL 

View presentation

Webinar recording on the NARUC YouTube page

Water-Thermoelectric Energy Nexus Webinar Series Recording Available on YouTube

Throughout fall 2019, NARUC’s CPI hosted four webcasts on the water-thermoelectric energy nexus in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories. Read more and find links to the recordings on NARUC's YouTube channel


Mid-Atlantic Distribution Systems and Planning Training with NARUC-NASEO Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning

On March 7 - 8, 2019 in Washington, DC, NARUC, the National Association of State Energy Offices (NASEO), and Lawrence Berkeley Lab invited Mid-Atlantic public utility commissions and state energy offices to participate in a training on distribution systems and planning. Please see the draft agenda here.

The training included 101-level sessions on electric distribution systems and utility distribution system planning, plus state engagement in distribution planning. More in-depth technical sessions covered benefit-cost analysis for utility-facing grid-modernization investments, distributed energy resources, reliability, distribution system controls and automation, and emerging distribution planning analyses (e.g., scenario modeling, hosting capacity, locational net benefits). See the agenda, presenter bios, and presentations from one of our prior trainings at


NARUC’s Center for Partnerships and Innovation in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories present a webinar series on The Water-Thermoelectric Energy Nexus

Water poses many challenges to our nation’s electric power system. Water supply is a concern as every day more than 160 billion gallons of fresh and saline water are withdrawn to support various unit operations (e.g., steam cycle makeup water, air scrubbers, cooling water) for thermoelectric power generation, making it the largest withdrawer of water in the United States. The demand for electricity is growing and with it the need to site new capacity, often in locations with limited water supply options. Under extreme drought conditions power plants have been forced off-line due to streamflow/reservoir levels dropping below intake structures or water temperatures exceeding permitted operating conditions. Toward these challenges the Department of Energy has supported several of their National Labs to assist the nation’s three large electric interconnections in integrating water into their long-term transmission planning.

Much of this work is captured in four related studies. The results of these studies were presented over a series of four, 60-minute webcasts. Stakeholders in the industry were invited as panelists to share their perspective on the results. 


Monday, October 29, 2018 at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Characterization of Power Plant Water Use

Study Description: Estimates of operational water withdrawal and water consumption factors (i.e., gal/MWh) for electricity generating technologies in the United States were developed. Estimates were collected from published primary literature and were not modified except for unit conversions. Estimates were distinguished by fuel type, prime mover, cooling type, emissions controls, and location. More recently, power plant operations have been shown to impact water use through the idling and cycling of power generation.

  • Moderated by Commissioner John Rosales, Illinois Commerce Commission
  • Presenters: Jordan Macknick, National Renewable Energy Laboratory: and Vincent Tidwell, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Guest Panelist: Robert Lotts, Director, Palo Verde Water Resources, Arizona Public Service

Webinar recording on the NARUC YouTube page.


Friday, November 30, 2018 at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Integrated Transmission Planning

Study Description: Consideration of water supply in transmission expansion planning (TEP) provides a valuable means of managing impacts of thermoelectric generation on limited water resources. Toward this opportunity, thermoelectric water intensity factors and water supply availability (fresh and non-fresh sources) were incorporated into a recent TEP exercise conducted for the electric interconnection in the Western United States. The goal was to inform the placement of new thermoelectric generation so as to minimize issues related to water availability. Conduct of this exercise highlighted the importance of integrating water into all phases of TEP, particularly joint management of decisions that are both directly (e.g., water availability constraint) and indirectly (technology or policy constraints) related to future thermoelectric water demand, as well as, the careful selection of scenarios that adequately bound the potential dimensions of water impact.

  • Moderated by Chair Nancy Lange, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
  • Presenters: Vincent Tidwell, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Guest Panelists: Carl Zichella, NRDC; and Michael Bailey, WIEB

Webinar recording on the NARUC YouTube page.


Monday, December 3, 2018 at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Climate Impacts on Thermoelectric Power Generation

Study Description: Performance of 1,080 thermoelectric plants across the contiguous US under future climates (2035–2064) was evaluated. Joint consideration of engineering interactions with climate, hydrology and environmental regulations reveals the region-specific performance of these energy systems. Despite climate–water constraints on individual plants, the current power supply infrastructure shows potential for adaptation to future climates by capitalizing on the size of regional power systems, grid configuration and improvements in thermal efficiencies.

  • Moderated by Commissioner Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
  • Presenters: Ariel Miara, City University of New York; Jordan Macknick, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Guest Panelists: Emily Gruber, Georgia Tech

Webinar recording on the NARUC YouTube page.


Monday, December 17, 2018 at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Energy for Water

Study Description: While there is clear evidence that energy demands by the water sector are rapidly evolving, there has been no comprehensive effort to project these changes into the future. To fill this gap, energy to provide water services was mapped at the regional, state and county level for the contiguous U.S. This study estimated electricity use in 2012 and project to 2032 for large-scale conveyance, agricultural pumping, drinking water and wastewater services. These projections are important for forecasting future energy loads posed by the water sector and for identifying regions where rapid change is possible.

  • Moderated by Vice-Chairman Jack Betkoski, III, Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
  • Presenters: Vincent Tidwell, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Guest Panelists: Katie Couglin, LBL; Peter Keegan, American Water

Webinar recording on the NARUC YouTube Page



Regional Workshops 

NIST and NARUC Plan Framework 4.0 Regional Workshops in Georgia, Indiana, California, and Rhode Island 

The four workshops took place between September and November 2018.

Click here for the details. 


Solar Energy Innovation Network Workshop

How Can Distributed Energy Resources Advance System Resilience??

Wednesday, November 14 | 12:30 - 5:30 pm

Orlando, FL

At this interactive workshop, state regulators and market stakeholders discussed ways to use DERs to improve resilience in both restructured and vertically integrated states. The discussion focused on intersections between state regulators and bulk power system operators, developed policy options to advance resilient DERs, and established connections between stakeholders to continue this important conversation.


Growing the Innovation Muscle: How to Design, Execute, and Analyze Pilots for Electric Utilities

August 14, 2018

Innovation is crucial in the electricity industry. As regulated utilities, power companies have to balance safe, reliable, affordable service with new products, technologies, and services to meet evolving customer needs. Utility regulators have an important role in encouraging innovation and learning from experimentation. In this webinar, speakers from two regulated utilities shared their perspectives on incorporating innovative pilot programs into utility business models. Two experts in pilot design and evaluation offered guidance for regulators and utilities to design pilot programs to maximize learning potential and create lasting benefits for ratepayers.

Moderator: Hon. John Rosales, Illinois


  • Curt Kirkeby, Avista Utilities
  • Josh Gould, Consolidated Edison
  • Anthony Teixeira, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Alex Davis, Carnegie Mellon University

View Webinar Recording | Download Presentations


Digging Safe: Federal-State Cooperation on Pipeline Safety

August 10, 2018

Following National Dig Safely Day on August 11, we are all reminded of the importance of safe excavation practices. Pipeline safety is a shared responsibility requiring the cooperation of federal and state regulators, local government entities, contractors, and homeowners. On August 10, 2018, Wyoming Public Service Commission Deputy Chair Kara Brighton Fornstrom moderated a discussion of cooperative federalism in pipeline safety regulation. Sam Hall, senior program manager for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Office of Pipeline Safety, provided state regulators with an overview of the administration’s November 2017 final rule on excavation damage prevention law enforcement and how PHMSA determines state adequacy. Jason Montoya, bureau chief at the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission’s Pipeline Safety Bureau and chairman of the National Association of Pipeline Safety Representatives, provided a state perspective on implementing the new rules, obtaining and maintaining adequacy, and other state efforts to work closely with the federal government to improve pipeline safety.

View Webinar Recording | Download Presentations


The Status of Transmission and Distribution System Intersections: A Grid Revolution - Annual Meeting and Workshop

Denver, Colorado | Tuesday, May 8, and Wednesday, May 9, 2018

NCEP’s successful annual meeting and workshop explored this evolution and specifically the impact that distributed energy resources (DERs) are and will have on the transmission and distribution systems in the contexts of planning, operations, and markets at the state level. Such DERs as energy efficiency, distributed generation (e.g., solar photovoltaics), energy storage, demand response, electric vehicles, and more, illustrated current examples of technologies and decisions that are underway. 

NCEP members in attendance included directors and staff of public utility regulatory agencies, environmental and air regulatory agencies, consumer advocate offices, state legislative bodies, state energy offices, and gubernatorial energy offices. The varied audience reflected NCEP’s membership, who are responsible for state-level electricity policy across the U.S.

View Agenda  | Read the Complete Event Summary and Downoad the Speaker Presentations


State Commission Staff "Surge" Call: New Approaches to Distribution System Planning

Monday, April 9, 2018 | 3:00 - 4:00 pm EST

NARUC’s Center for Partnerships & Innovation and the Staff Subcommittee on Energy Resources and the Environment convened a state commission staff “surge” call, on which state staff from Hawaii, Washington, Indiana, Ohio, and Rhode Island discussed different distribution system planning (DSP) strategies. Across these five states, there are some clear similarities in goals of DSP: multiple staff cited pursuing least-cost solutions, achieving renewable portfolio goals, and providing the most current information as DSP objectives. Commission staff agree on the importance of stakeholder engagement, improving transparency, and educating commissioners, commission staff, utilities, and others involved in the process. However, states diverge in the paths to these objectives. 

View Summary


The FUTURE of CCS: What Do Updated 45Q Tax Credits Mean for Carbon Capture? Part 2 of 2

Tuesday, April 10 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm EDT

Many policymakers expressed optimism when the improved section 45Q tax credits for carbon capture, storage, and utilization were passed in the 2018 budget bill earlier this year. Do financers and project developers share this optimism? Is section 45Q enough to spur investments in new projects? Members of the Carbon Capture Coalition gave their perspectives to NARUC members in this discussion. 


  • David Greeson, Vice President for Development, NRG Energy
  • Walker Dimmig, Principal, 8 Rivers Capital, LLC
  • Ron Munson, Principal, Cogentiv Solutions, LLC
  • Matt Fry, Policy Advisor to Wyoming Governor Matt Mead
  • Doug Scott, Vice President, Great Plains Institute

View Presentation | View Webinar Recording


The FUTURE of CCS: What Do Updated 45Q Tax Credits Mean for Carbon Capture? Part 1 of 2

Tuesday, March 27 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm EDT

The 2018 budget bill expanded and extended section 45Q tax credits for carbon capture, storage, and utilization - but will this assistance lead to new deployments, and what else is needed to spur investment in carbon capture? Join members of the State CO2-EOR Working Group as they discuss the changes to the tax credits and where they fit in to the policy landscape for carbon capture. A follow-up webinar on April 10 will feature industry members of the Carbon Capture Coalition giving their perspective on how the tax credits improve the economics of carbon capture and move the next wave of projects from concept to reality.


  • Matt Fry, Policy Advisor to Wyoming Governor Matt Mead
  • Frank Farmer, General Counsel, Mississippi PSC
  • Brad Crabtree, Vice President, Great Plains Institute
  • Doug Scott, Vice President, Great Plains Institute

View Presentation | View Webinar Recording


Treasure from Trash? Extracting Rare Earth Elements from Coal Mine Drainage

Tuesday, February 27 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm EST

Seventeen elements in the middle of the periodic table, known as rare earth elements (REEs), are critical ingredients in everything from smartphones and MRIs to radar and weapons systems. China produces nearly all of the $5 billion global market for REEs, posing economic and national security risks to the U.S. To counter these risks, the National Energy Technology Lab has funded a portfolio of research projects studying the feasibility of extracting REEs from coal and coal byproducts, including a project at West Virginia University's Water Research Institute to develop a cost-effective method to treat and recover REEs from coal-fired power plants' acid mine drainage. Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz leads the project and addressed NARUC members on his team's findings so far and the future of their work. 

View Presentation | View Webinar Recording


Carbon Capture, Utilization & Storage Partnership Call: Carbon Capture and Electricity Markets

Monday, October 2, 2017 | 3:00 - 4:00 pm EST

The Great Plains Institute State CO2-EOR Deployment Work Group released a white paper in June 2017 taking a detailed look at how carbon capture can compete in vertically integrated and restructured electricity markets. On this webinar, members of the work group discussed the paper with a specific eye towards public utility commissions and state power sector policies. 


  • Brad Crabtree, Great Plains Institute
  • Doug Scott, Great Plains Institute 
  • Chairman Ted Thomas, Arkansas Public Service Commission 
  • Matthew Fry, Office of the Wyoming Governor

View Presentation | View Webinar Recording


State Commission Staff "Surge" Call: Distribution System Planning for Abundant Distributed Energy Resources

Monday, September 18, 2017 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm EST

With rapid growth in DER installations, utilities and commissions are paying closer attention to the capability of the distribution grid to handle these additional resources. State commission staff from Michigan, California, and Minnesota provided an udpate on where each state is in reassessing distribution system planning policies to integrate DERs. 

View Summary


Carbon Capture Storage & Utilization Site Visit to Petra Nova

Houston, Texas | September 22, 2017

State commissioners and staff went on a site visit to the Petra Nova carbon capture for enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) project at the W.A. Parish Plant in Thompsons, Texas, southwest of Houston. Petra Nova is the world's largest post-combustion carbon capture facility and the leading example of carbon capture technology in the U.S. The project captures over 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide per day from a 240-MW coal unit and transports the gas via pipeline to an oilfield, where it is pumped underground for enhanced oil recovery and permanent sequestration. Commissioners and staff spent September 22 touring the facility and hearing presentations from NRG project staff before returning home. 

Please contact Kiera Zitelman to receive information about future site visits through the Carbon Capture, Storage & Utilization Partnership. Travel assistance may be available. 


Webinar: Grid Modernization - What You Can Teach to and Learn From Your Neighbors

Thursday, September 7, 2017 

Technological advancements, market forces, evolving customer needs and desires, and state policies and objectives are driving fundamental changes in today’s electricity system. These changes bring challenges as well as opportunities. On this webinar, hear how your fellow states are responding to those challenges and opportunities. From performance based regulation (PBR) to rate design to advanced metering to DER ownership and beyond, this webinar touches on a number of different, often interrelated grid modernization issues, with examples of how different states across the country (including perhaps yours!) are thinking about them. Our guest speaker for this webinar is Hannah Polikov, Director, Public Utility Commission Program at Advanced Energy Economy.

View Webinar Recording


Webinar: Do rate increases lead to unemployed regulators? 

Thursday, August 17 | 1:00 - 2:00 pm EDT

NARUC and the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis collaborated to research the links between large electricity rate or bill increases and public utility commissioner tenure. Through a series of interviews with former regulators and statistical analysis of electricity prices and regulator tenure, we examined whether rising rates leads to fired commissioners and what other circumstances might affect public outcry over rate increases. We invite interested commissioners and staff to hear our conclusions and offer feedback for improving the paper when it is released as a final product in September 2017. 


State Commission Staff "Surge" Call: The Future of PURPA

Tuesday, July 11 | 3:00 - 4:00 pm EST

Passed in the aftermath of the 1973 energy crisis, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) has now been in effect for nearly four decades. Despite a few PURPA amendments and multiple, broad changes in electricity markets, most states have not significantly updated their PURPA rules and buy-back rates since fairly soon after the law was passed. As a result, large and small qualifying facilities (QFs, in PURPA-speak), including renewable-powered generators and particularly distributed generation, could still have difficulty gaining the market foothold PURPA was initially designed to enable. Several states are reexamining PURPA implementation in light of current conditions. Join state public utility commission staff from Michigan, Oregon, Montana, and Massachusetts to discuss each state's approach to updating PURPA rules and where these efforts might lead the electricity sector. 

View Summary


Webinar | Blockchain 101

Friday, June 23 | 2:30 - 3:30 pm EST

This webinar will serve as an introduction to what Blockchain is, and how it’s been used in financial markets as well as the potential for use in energy markets.  Use cases such as the LO3 project will be discussed. We will also learn about the Illinois government’s perspective, the current stage of the market, and the Illinois Blockchain Initiative. We’ll hear from experts Lawrence Orsini from the LO3 Project as well as Jennifer O’Rourke at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The discussion will be led by Commissioner Nick Wagner from the Iowa Utilities Board. 

Click here to access the slide deck. Click here to access the webinar recording.


Lab on the Road! MegaModel Interactive Experience

The Lab ran MegaModel: A Utility Business Model Interactive for attendees at three conferences in June. This game puts players in control of an investor-owned utility under one of four different business models. Players then invest in a broad menu of transmission, distribution, and generation resource options and choose policies to meet upcoming demand while chasing performance goals for customer bills, environmental performance, shareholder returns, and reliability. Retiring generation, heat waves, environmental policies, and natural gas price spikes make the game even more challenging. 

National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates Mid-Year Meeting | June 4 - 7 | Denver, Colorado

National Conference of State Legislatures & National Association of State Energy Officials Solar Workshop and Lab | June 9 - 10 | San Antonio, Texas

Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Annual Education Conference | June 25 - 28 | Hershey, Pennsylvania

Additionally, Lab staff offered an electricity siting training to New England commissioners at the New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners Symposium, June 4 - 7 in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. 

Interested in bringing MegaModel or a siting training to your state? Contact Lab director Miles Keogh


Webinar | A Comparative View of Cybersecurity Approaches in the Natural Gas and Electric Sectors

Tuesday, May 30 | 2:00 pm EDT

Cybersecurity has become increasingly important to energy regulators due to the potential for adverse reliability impacts from a cyber breach.  Over the past several years, the energy sector has been a prime target of cybersecurity incidents, and to combat this, public-private partnerships are engaged in efforts to increase preparedness, response, and recovery.   The intent of this webinar is to create foundational knowledge about cybersecurity approaches used in the natural gas sector, and how these approaches compare with the electric sector.  We will be joined by Kimberly Denbow from the American Gas Association (AGA), who will share her insight on questions including:

  • What do the threat landscapes look like? What are some of the current trends?
  • What are some of the key differences in the components and systems that we are trying to protect? 
  • What types of vulnerabilities could be exploited in each sector? What strategies or measures are being used to reduce these vulnerabilities?

View Presentation

View Webinar Recording


Webinar | Infrastructure for Carbon Capture - Technology, Policy, and Economics 

Monday, May 15 | 1:00 pm EDT

The NARUC/DOE Carbon Capture, Storage & Utilization Partnership and the Great Plains Institute’s State Carbon Dioxide for Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO2-EOR) Deployment Work Group offered a webinar on infrastructure policy related to carbon capture projects. Putting CO2 to work in enhanced oil recovery can be a win-win scenario for fossil fuel-fired electricity generators, oil producers, and environmentalists alike. However, a strong network of CO2 pipelines is critical to the future of CO2-EOR projects in an era of low oil prices and uncertain federal climate policy. While CO2-EOR is not a new prospect, the recent success of CO2-EOR projects like NRG’s Petra Nova facility combined with Washington, DC’s focus on domestic energy production and infrastructure has brought renewed attention to CO2-EOR infrastructure needs, particularly how federal and state policy can address weaknesses.

On this webinar, state officials discussed how CO2-EOR projects operate, the state of the nation’s existing CO2 infrastructure, current federal and state policies relevant to CO2-EOR, and recommendations for strengthening CO2 infrastructure. Matt Mead, policy advisor in the Office of the Wyoming Governor; Dan Lloyd, business development specialist in the Office of the Montana Governor; and Shawn Shurden, commission counsel for the Mississippi Public Service Commission joined the webinar as panelists with Brad Crabtree of the Great Plains Institute as moderator. 

View Presentation

View Webinar Recording


Webinar | Space Weather: How Resilient Are We?

April 25, 2017 | 2:00 p.m. EDT

The electric grid is exposed to many threats that have the potential to affect reliability. Space weather events is one threat that can cause significant long-term effects on critical infrastructure systems and technologies. Extreme space weather has the potential to shut down large sections of the grid, resulting in cascading failures in many other critical infrastructure sectors that we depend on for health and safety. During this webinar we will discuss what space weather is and how it can affect the power grid. The discussion will be led by experts John Ostrich from DOE and Mark Olson from NERC. Our speakers will share their insights on the following questions:

  • How are space weather events detected and analyzed?
  • What adverse impacts can space weather have on the grid?
  • What parts of the grid (bulk power system versus distribution) are at risk?
  • Which types of equipment or components do we need to focus on protecting?
  • Are there ways to prevent, mitigate, and recover from the negative impacts?
  • To what extent is our grid currently protected against space weather threats and how much will additional resilience cost?
  • What tools, technologies, standards and other resources are available to utilities to help manage the threat?

View Presentation

View Webinar Recording


Webinar | Aliso Canyon and Underground Natural Gas Storage Issues 

March 28, 2017 | 3:00 p.m. EDT

The NARUC/DOE Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership is extending an invite to NARUC membership and interested stakeholders to participate in a webinar on underground natural gas storage. The webinar will focus on the DOE/PHMSA Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety’s final report on the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak and resulting actions. Participants from both agencies will cover a brief introduction to natural gas storage regulation; specifics of the Aliso Canyon leak and response; implications for electric system reliability and the gas/electric market; recommendations to advance well integrity, health and environmental protection, and gas/electric reliability; and the status of PHMSA’s December 2016 interim final rule revising federal pipeline safety regulations. 

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

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State Surge | Energy Storage Valuation 

March 24, 2017

NARUC's Lab hosted a call on March 24, 2017, as part of our "surge" effort to link state staffers to learn from each other. This call focused on how various state commissions are considering the costs and benefits of energy storage. This document summarizes presentations from Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona commission staffers and discussion among other state staffers. 

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Webinar | What Does Petra Nova Mean for Carbon Capture? 

March 23, 2017 | 3:00 p.m. EDT

The DOE/NARUC Carbon Capture Storage & Utilization Partnership invites interested state commissioners, state and federal staff, and other stakeholders to learn about the Petra Nova carbon capture project at W.A. Parish Generating Station in Thompsons, Texas. A joint venture between NRG and JX Nippon, Petra Nova enters the market as clean coal and carbon capture technology continue to factor into the national debate on energy and infrastructure. David Greeson, VP of Development at NRG, will discuss the conception, design, and construction of the project as well as its first few months of successful operation as a post-combustion carbon capture for enhanced oil recovery facility before taking questions from the audience.

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Webinar presentation and recording are available to NARUC members. Please contact Kiera Zitelman to request. 


State Surge | Wherefore Art Thou, Carbon Trading? 

February 6, 2017

NARUC's Lab hosted a call on February 6, 2017, as part of our "surge" effort to link state staffers to learn from each other. This call focused on carbon trading programs in the northeast and California: the conception and structure of these programs and their future potential for continued operation or expansion. This document summarizes presentations from Maryland and California staffers and discussion among other state staffers. 

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Expert Roundtable | Applying Valuation to Baseload

January 5, 2017 | Baltimore, Maryland

Participants will explore how baseload power gets incorporated into what consumers pay, impacts of the changing generation fleet on valuation pricing, and how state officials can address this change. Participants will identify tools and techniques that attribute value to baseload and develop recommendations and “asks” to research institutions, national laboratories and academia.

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Presentation Package



Webcast Recording! Risk Management for Regulators

December 22, 2016

NARUC CPI team members Miles Keogh & Sharon Thomas ran a webcast about a new primer that the NARUC Lab issued in winter 2016 that introduces risk management tools and concepts for regulators who may not be specialists in that area. Watch it here! 


Conference Call | MIT Utility of the Future Presentation

December 15, 2016 | 3:30 p.m. EDT

MIT presented their Utility of the Future study report for Commissioners and Staff. The study presents "a framework for proactive regulatory, policy & market reforms." The presenation describes five key recommendations and steps to take to meet those objectives. The study acknowledges that a "future" described the report is looking out about ten years from now and focuses on the US and Europe.  

MIT Utility of the Future Presentation - 12/15/2016 (download PDF)


State Surge | IT Spending

September 9, 2016

The NARUC Research Lab convened state public utility commission staffers on a "surge" technical assistance call to learn from one another about how much utilities should be spending on information technology (IT) investments. 

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State Surge | Enhanced Oil Recovery

September 23, 2016

State staff came together for a technical assistance "surge" to explore enhanced oil recovery (EOR), and the implications for state regulators.  We summarized the information-sharing that happened in this summary, and it's well worth a read if you want a starting point for understanding how state agencies understand and address this policy topic.  

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Webinar | 811 Dig Safe & The Gold Shovel Standards

August 4, 2016 | 12:00 p.m. EDT

New York State Public Service Commission commissioner Hon. Diane X. Burman, and Andy Wells, PG&E’s Manager of Gas First Responder Programs with the Public Safety Emergency Preparedness Group, discuss the importance of the Gold Shovel Dig Safe program, and provide options for promoting them at the State level.

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Webinar | Transmission Technologies: High Performance Conductors 

July 14, 2016 | 2:00 p.m. EDT

This NARUC Research Lab webinar covers 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 used to replace an American Electric Power (AEP) line in Texas without de-energizing the line.

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Webinar | U.S. Shale Resources - Maximizing Benefits

Monday, 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.

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Webinar | IT and Operational Technology Convergence

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!

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NIST/NARUC Training: NIST Cybersecurity Framework Workshop for Regulators

July 6, 2016 | Washington, D.C.

Is your utility company using the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) to help manage its cyber risks? If so, come to the NIST/NARUC workshop on the NIST CSF in Washington, DC on July 6th and 7th. This training aims to help utility regulators understand how the NIST CSF supports the regulatory ecosystem.  

Workshop Objectives Include:

  • An introduction to the NIST CSF
  • Explanation of the steps involved to implement the NIST CSF
  • How to evaluate implementation of the Framework
  • Sharing of participant experiences in home states on using the Framework
  • Guidance to help regulators develop a foundation for having discussions with their utilities about their cybersecurity practices.

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State Surge Smart Inverters: A Link Between Smart Grid and Distributed Renewables? 

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.

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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.


Energy Resilience and Risk Management

Joint NARUC Lab Workshop with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)

May 25 - 26, 2016 | Denver, Colorado

Cyberattacks on the power grid on your mind?  Worried about miscreants messing with the transmission system?  The possibility of earthquakes got you losing sleep?  We're working with our friends at NCSL to explore what the right risk-based tools will be to deal with threats to the grid that we've never had to deal with before.  A two day workshop for Legislature and Commission personnel (especially staff) will give you what you need to make informed decisions.  It will also feature one of our world-famous "game" style interactives.

The Magnolia Hotel, Denver Colorado, 8 am Mountain on May 25 until 1 pm on May 26.

Need more information?  Please contact Sharon Thomas at

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"Blurred Lines": Changing Federal / State Jurisdiction

National Council on Electricity Policy Meeting

April 25 - 26, 2016 | Washington D.C. 

View Draft Agenda

View April 25 Webinar Recording

View April 25 Presentations

View April 26 Webinar Recording

View April 26 Presentations

Topics included:

  • 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

Essential EISPC work was conducted and we mapped out what technical assistance support from labs, academia, and others will help us deal with changes in jurisdiction.  

Dupont Circle Hotel, Washington DC, 12 pm Eastern on April 25 until 3 pm Eastern on April 26th.  

Need more information?  Please contact Jan Brinch at