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Locke Lord QuickStudy: Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Releases Grid Modernization Framework

Locke Lord LLP
October 3, 2019

On October 2, 2019, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (“PURA” or the “Authority”) released an Interim Decision that details the Authority’s Framework approach to investigate methods for equitably modernizing the electric grid in Connecticut.  PURA splits its Framework into near-term topics for further investigation within the next two years, as well as a long-term plan to ensure continued enhancements to Connecticut’s electric grid through a biennial integrated distribution system planning process.

Framework Structure and Objectives
The Authority’s Framework has four objectives: (1) support (or remove barriers to) the growth of Connecticut’s green economy; (2) enable a cost-effective, economy-wide transition to a decarbonized future; (3) enhance customer access to a more resilient, reliable, and secure commodity; and (4) advance the ongoing energy affordability dialogue in the State, particularly in underserved communities.  PURA views all four objectives as inextricably connected and, thus, no one objective can be accomplished without the others if an Equitable Modern Grid is to be achieved.

PURA will further investigate eleven near-term topics in separate docketed proceedings to help realize the Framework’s objectives:

Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2019:

  • RE01 Energy Affordability
  • RE02 Advanced Metering Infrastructure
  • RE03 Electric Storage
  • RE04 Zero Emission Vehicles
  • RE05 Innovative Technology Applications and Programs (Innovation Pilots)
  • RE06 Interconnection Standards and Practices


Beginning in the first half of 2020:

  • RE07 Non-Wires Alternatives
  • RE08 Resilience and Reliability Standards and Programs
  • RE09 Distributed Energy Resource Analysis and Program Reviews


Beginning at the completion of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Integrated Resource Plan and a Final Decision in RE011

  • RE010 Building Blocks of Resource Adequacy and Clean Electric Supply
  • RE011 New Rate Designs


Next Steps 
The initiation of each proceeding will be closely followed by a Request for Information, in which the Authority may seek written comments and/or provide notice of an upcoming Technical Meeting. The purpose of the Technical Meetings, stylized as either a “Public Forum” or a “Solutions Day” depending on the subject matter, will primarily be to discuss and present innovative solutions and best practices on the topic of the reopened proceeding. The Authority will actively solicit the participation of other jurisdictions, electric distribution companies, product developers and solutions providers, non-profit organizations, and all Connecticut stakeholders in these Public Forums and Solutions Days. 

Following the final Public Forum or Solutions Day for the specific reopened proceeding, the Authority will issue a Request for Proposals shaped by the record developed through that date. The Authority will then create a straw proposal, in the form of a draft decision, for stakeholder comment. The Authority will revise the straw proposal with stakeholder input throughout the discovery process, issuing additional Requests for Written Comments and Interrogatories and holding additional Technical Meetings and Public Hearings as warranted. At the conclusion of the discovery process, the Authority will issue a draft decision, followed by a final decision in each reopened proceeding, all of which is anticipated to occur within a year and a half.

REOPENDED
PROCEEDING

SOLUTIONS DAY/
PUBLIC FORUM

2ND SOLUTIONS DAY/
PUBLIC FORUM

ALTERNATE DATE

RE01 -
Energy Affordability

October 25th
(Residential)

December 4th
(Commercial and Industrial)

November 1st
(Residential)

RE02 -
Advanced Metering Infrastructure

 October 28th

-

November 5th

RE03 -
Electric Storage

 November 14th

November 15th

December 6th

RE04 -
Zero Emission Vehicles

 November 22nd

December 20th

-

RE05 - 
Innovation Pilots

 December 13th

-

December 17th

RE06 - 
Interconnection Standards

November 11th
(Best Practices)

November 25th
(Other)

-

 

Locke Lord’s Energy Regulatory Team is available to answer any questions, or address any comments or concerns regarding PURA’s Grid Modernization Framework. 

 

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1 Docket No. 17-12-03RE10 will be initiated upon the issuance of DEEP’s IRP. Docket No. 17-12-03RE11 will be initiated upon the issuance of the Final Decision in Docket No. 17-12-01RE01.

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