What is your feedback on the recommended distributed energy resource policy going to the BPU on March 16?
The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will discuss and possibly adopt policies for Distributed Energy Resources (DER) for the County of Los Alamos at the March 16, 2016 Board meeting scheduled at 5:30PM in Council Chambers, 1000 Central Avenue, Los Alamos, NM. Distributed Energy Resources or DER refers to customer-owned generation resources, which includes roof-top or ground-mounted solar installations.
The Future Energy Resources Committee (FER Committee) - a seven-member citizen group selected to assist the BPU and the Department of Public Utilities to reach a long-term goal to be a carbon neutral electric provider by 2040 - assessed the following to reach its recommendations on DER:
- History of Distributed Energy Resources in Los Alamos (Sec. 5.1)
- Objectives of the Distributed Energy Policy (Sec. 5.2)
- Distribution System Stability and Load Fluctuation Tolerance (Sec. 5.2.1)
- Rate-making Principles (Sec. 5.2.2)
- Charges Relative to Service Costs (Sec. 5.2.3)
- Rate Structure Options (Sec. 5.3)
- Align Charges with Service Costs (Sec. 5.3.1)
- Net Metering (Sec. 5.3.2)
- Separating Consumption Charges and Generation Payments (Sec. 5.3.3)
- Rate Structure Options for Distributed Generation (Sec. 5.3.4)
- Value of Solar (Sec. 5.3.5)
- Enhancing solar's Value with Firming and Dispatchability (Sec. 5.3.6)
The following below is taken directly from the July 7, 2015 Future Electrical Energy Resources Report under Section 5.4 and 5.5 (both near-term and long-term recommendations on pages 31 and 32). Be sure to read all of Section 5 in the July 7, 2015 Future Electrical Energy Resources Report to better understand the FER Committee's summary of resource recommendations.
5.4 Summary of Near-term Action, Policy, and Rate Structure Recommendations (pages 31 and 32)
Distributed energy policy and rate structures in the next few years should:
A. Promote increased distribution system stability.
B. Base payments for DER production on a transparent rate structure considering avoided costs and non-economic value of solar energy.
C. Encourage or require storage and, ideally, dispatchability, of distributed energy resources as technology permits.
To accomplish these objectives, the following steps are recommended.
5.5 Summary of Long-term Action, Policy, and Rate Structure Recommendations (page 32)
Distributed PV will continue to grow and could become a major source of electric power for LA by 2040. To be truly useful at large penetrations, however, firming will need to be developed along with it as costs become reasonable. Dispatchability will further increase its value. Storage, at least for overnight, will be necessary after the ECA [Electric Coordination Agreement] pool arrangement expires and daylight peak-shaving value disappears. Overnight storage may be less essential if some temporal power swap arrangement can be made with DOE/LANL.
All policy and rate structures should eventually encourage or require at least short-term storage. Overnight distributed storage should also be at least encouraged unless a power-swap arrangement can be made or it is determined that service can be supplied more practically or economically by DPU utility-scale systems.
All major institutional power loads and probably some large residential loads, specifically EV [electric vehicle] charging, should be dispatchable.
Energy use costs and supply payments should be based on at least TOU [time-of-use] pricing if not RTP [real-time pricing] pricing. The latter may be more practical for institutional customers and the former for residential and small commercial customers
In 2013 the BPU adopted six strategic objectives for the DPU, one of which is to achieve environmental sustainability with a long-term goal and milestone to be carbon neutral by 2040. This long-term goal was later modified and approved by the Board to be a "carbon neutral electric provider by 2040." The adopted six strategic objects were developed to align with DPU's Mission to "provide safe and reliable utility services in an economically and environmentally sustainable fashion."
In January of 2015 the BPU selected Los Alamos County citizens to serve on a seven-member Future Energy Resources Committee (FER Committee) to recommend to the BPU and DPU how to realize this carbon neutral goal. Specifically, the FER Committee was asked to recommend:
- A definition for carbon neutrality
- Future energy generation resources for the County, and
- Policies for distributed generation customers.
A July 7, 2015 Future Electrical Energy Resources Report (FEER Report) was prepared by the FER Committee with recommendations after almost six months of extensive research and discussion among the seven members. The report was presented to the BPU on July 15, 2015.
Outcome: The BPU passed all FER Committee recommendations.
March 16, 2016Read More
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