The Task Force for Comprehensive Electricity Planning has announced 16 states to represent the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Association of State Energy Officials on the joint task force.
The two-year collaborative initiative of NARUC and NASEO, announced last November, is a forum for participating states to develop new approaches to better align distribution system and resource planning processes. The selected states will pioneer new tools and roadmaps for aligning planning to meet states' needs while applying insights from the task force to initiate action in their own states. At the conclusion of the task force, NARUC and NASEO will publish templates that all members can adapt and use for their states.
Twenty-one states requested to join the task force. Based on evaluations of the states' submissions, 16 were invited to join because they offer diverse and representative combinations of geographies, market models, planning approaches and state policy goals.
"This is an historic partnership, which is necessitated by the ever-changing power system, at a time when leadership is needed" said NARUC President Nick Wagner of the Iowa Utilities Board. "The utility regulatory community looks forward to working together with our state energy office colleagues to provide the tools and roadmap for a positive future."
NASEO Board Chair and task force Co-Vice Chair Andrew McAllister of the California Energy Commission looks forward to working with state regulators to examine electricity planning issues. "This process will help us stay ahead of rapidly accelerating technological advancements and extract the most value from them, rather than playing catch up and missing opportunities," he said, adding, "We look forward to working with our colleagues and stakeholders to improve the outcomes for everyone."
Other members of the task force leadership noted positive outcomes and benefits now that state representatives have been selected.
"Modernizing the grid also means modernizing how we plan for it. And that means challenging our approaches and assumptions to make way for innovation," said task force Co-Vice Chair Beth Trombold of the Public Utility Commission of Ohio.
"The diversity of participants-geographically, types of regulatory approaches and utility operations and political environments-brings an abundance of valuable perspectives," said task force Co-Chair Jeffrey Ackermann of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. "Combined with the structure built into the task force, the work plan promises to yield tools beneficial to both the participating states and those waiting in the wings."
"This unique, and first in-kind partnership between NARUC and NASEO is most timely. As we look at a rapidly evolving energy ecosystem, this collaboration provides a pathway for an informed discussion on how we can plan for and integrate innovation to advance a clean, resilient, affordable power system in a way that meets states' goals," said task force Co-Chair Dr. Laura Nelson of the Utah Governor's Office of Energy Development.
The 16 states selected are:
3. California (co-vice chair)
4. Colorado (co-chair)
11. North Carolina
12. Ohio (co-vice chair)
13. Puerto Rico
14. Rhode Island
15. Utah (co-chair)
The task force initiative is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and will hold its first working meeting this spring. More information is available on the Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning website at www.naruc.org/taskforce.
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.
The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) is the only national nonprofit organization of the nation's 56 state and territory governor-designated energy directors and their offices. NASEO facilitates information exchange among state energy officials and serves as a resource for the states. NASEO advocates the interests of state energy offices to Congress and federal agencies on a wide range of energy issues, such as energy security, reliability, and resilience; cybersecurity; energy efficiency, renewable, fossil, and nuclear resources; advanced transportation systems; research, innovation, and economic development; and affordability.