Aerial view of Washington D.C. at night. The NARUC 2023 Winter Policy Summit will be held this year in D.C. Credit: iStock/Amy Sparwasser.
This year, EPSA is once again proud to be sponsoring the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) upcoming 2023 Winter Policy Summit.
Held in Washington, D.C., this event brings together state utility commissioners, energy leaders, and other stakeholders to address key energy challenges and deliver on NARUC’s mission to serve the public interest and support regulators in their duty to ensure reliable, safe, and affordable power. That’s a duty that they are now balancing with ambitious state policies and emissions reduction targets, a rapid energy transition, and the rising threat of extreme weather.
It’s not an easy job.
Because EPSA and our member companies play a vital role in that system, efficiently generating electricity that is clean, reliable, and affordable through competitive markets, we welcome the chance to engage with regulators on key issues impacting reliability, cost-effective service, and reducing emissions.
NARUC’s Winter Policy Summit is one of three meetings for stakeholders from all across the energy value chain to discuss critical issues of the day, with a particular focus this year on how planners can incentivize electrification, integrate clean energy deployment, and build better coordination between power generators and suppliers—all while protecting affordability and reliability.
The event will open with remarks from Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Monday February 13 on the changing energy landscape and the regulatory challenges it poses.
Following Secretary Granholm’s remarks, there will be panel discussions on the future of the grid, both as the American economy becomes increasingly electrified and as intermittent renewables like wind and solar play a bigger role in electricity generation. Regulators also need to maintain a reality check on state policies which can sometimes outpace the operational limits of the system as currently constituted. We also hope that state regulators give due consideration to the dispatchable resources that will be necessary to complement the non-dispatchable resources increasingly coming onto the grid.
The electricity sector continues to play a pivotal role in the energy transition, but the growing role of renewable resources also requires new and innovative approaches to ensure power remains reliable and affordable. Competitive electricity markets have a vital role to play and a long history of serving as a proving ground for clean energy innovation while delivering reliable power at lower costs on average.
Another key topic for discussion will be better coordination between electric generators that rely on natural gas as a fuel and the gas suppliers to ensure reliability, something that NARUC likens to having the two energy sources “playing from the same sheet of music.”
Gas-Electric coordination has become a topic of increasing concern for regulators in the wake of Winter Storm Uri in 2021, which knocked out power for millions of residents and led to soaring energy prices across Texas and the central U.S. after cold temperatures caused production issues and pipeline constraints for natural gas. Similar, but less severe, issues during Winter Storm Elliott late last year further cemented the need for better coordination between gas suppliers, electric generators and grid operators to preserve reliability. EPSA is keenly focused on addressing these challenges.
Clair Moeller, the president and CEO of MISO, and Michael Bryson, Senior VP of Operations for PJM Interconnection, will discuss how to better coordinate gas and electricity with Matthew Agen, chief regulatory council for energy for the American Gas Association and Chris Moser, head of competitive markets and policy for NRG, a competitive power supplier and an EPSA member company.
Other focus areas of the Policy Summit will include the role that carbon capture and storage can play in prolonging the use of the coal fleet in the Midwest; a simulation of power markets, which should be an illustrative demonstration of how markets connect power producers with retail utilities and power consumers; and ongoing discussion of the impacts of federal funding for weatherization, energy efficiency and electrification in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Competitive markets help utility commissioners deliver on the energy priorities of today and tomorrow. Commissioners who regulate utilities in the states with restructured markets, which represent two-thirds of Americans, are best served when they hear from all perspectives. For more than two decades, restructured markets have helped reduce power generation costs, increased competition, and provided choice for consumers. These markets have consistently driven innovation, enhanced efficiency, reduced costs and helped state utility customers around the country meet their goals.
EPSA is proud to again represent America’s competitive market generators at this year’s NARUC Winter Policy Summit.
We look forward to the opportunity to find ways to work together to continue delivering on NARUC’s promise to deliver clean, reliable, and affordable energy to all Americans. We hope to see you there!
One last item for your consideration: please join us March 21, 2023, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., for EPSA’s Competitive Power Summit: Reliability, a day of expert discussions featuring nearly 20 speakers on advancing a reliable power system.