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State and Regional Policy Assistance - Program Activities

Providing Technical Assistance to States and Regions
The Electric Markets Technical Assistance Program responds to both immediate and long-terms needs of states, regions, and other organizations to implement policy and market solutions that bring about improved demand response, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transmission utilization.

Examples include:

Grants

The Program's work is accomplished through grants primarily to national and regional-based groups that are tied to state decision makers. Current and past recipients include:

Sponsored Sample Products

New DOE co-funded report examines the current status of the U.S. Electric Transmission System. Report finds transmission capacity continues to be added at a slower rate than consumer demand is growing. More Information (PDF 587 KB)

Links to Program-Sponsored Sample Products

The Electric Markets Technical Assistance Program is supporting efforts by the Western Governors' Association (WGA), its subsidiary Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB), and related ad-hoc subregional groups in the West as they work toward greater regional coordination and planning of regional electric infrastructure. See November 2003 presentation (PDF 195 KB) for more information.

At the request of the Governors, the West's informal regional electric coordinating body known as the Committee on Regional Electric Power Cooperation (CREPC) (an arm of WGA/WIEB) launched a bottom-up evaluation of the value of a regional body that would be more formal than CREPC. DOE is funding support of this evaluation and improved Western regional electric cooperation and planning. DOE funding is in three forms:

  1. A grant awarded to WGA/WIEB;
  2. Technical assistance provided to WGA/WIEB by the Electricity Market Studies Group of LBNL and The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP); and
  3. More limited technical assistance given to the Rocky Mountain Area Transmission Study (RMATS) group by Oak Ridge National Laboratory on transmission technology alternatives.

This support is provided at the direction of WGA/WEIB staff to CREPC and its working groups.

As part of a FY2003 DOE Grant on finding ways to improve transmission siting, the National Council on Electricity Policy sponsored an open meeting, "Midwest Transmission Siting Dialogue" at Michigan State University on April 6, 2004.

The National Council on Electricity Policy has sponsored mid-course electric restructuring reviews in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. See workshop and presentations from the September 4, 2003, "Mid-Atlantic Mid-Course Review" held in Philadelphia.

See the transcript of the National Council's July 27, 2003, "Market Monitoring Workshop" in Denver. Participants included several state utility commissioners, California ISO, PJM, ISO-New England, New York ISO, and Midwest ISO.

Renewables Portfolio Standards: What Are We Learning? (PDF 402 KB) LBNL's research on existing state laws and policies to promote renewables, as well as lessons learned. Information was presented by Ryan Wiser of LBNL at the March 2004 National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' (NARUC) winter conference.

The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) presented information on renewable policies and pricing (PDF 1.5 MB) to the Idaho legislature in September 2003.

The New England Demand Response Initiative released its final report in July 2003, Dimensions of Demand Response: Capturing Customer Based Resources in New England's Power Systems and Markets (DOC 1.1 MB).

The Program is assisting the Clean Energy States Alliance in promotion of renewable energy and clean energy technologies. Through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Program supports management and "Best Practices" consulting work on clean energy funds.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's "A Survey of State Support for Community Wind Power Development" (March 2004, PDF 144 KB) describes the various policies and incentives that states are using to support community wind power and how state and Federal support influences the types of projects that are developed. In addition to periodically adding new case studies to its ongoing series "Case Studies of State Support for Renewable Energy," Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has published many other reports on renewable energy, including "Learning by Doing: The Evolution of State Support for Photovoltaics" (June 2003, PDF 210 KB), "Policies and Market Factors Driving Wind Power Development in the United States" (July 2003, PDF 620 KB), and "Utility Green Pricing Programs: A Statistical Analysis of Program Effectiveness" (February 2004, PDF 209 KB).

The National Council on Electricity Policy published "A Comprehensive View of U.S. Electric Restructuring with Policy Options for the Future," (PDF 756 KB) the latest paper in its Electric Industry Restructuring Series. The paper was released during the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioner's (NARUC) Summer Committee Meetings in Denver, Colorado, in July 2003.

The Consumer Energy Council of America published Positioning the Consumer for the Future: A Roadmap to an Optimal Electric Power System in April 2003. Download the 36-page Executive Summary (PDF 263 KB) of the report.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) published "Energy Efficiency and Electric System Reliability: A Look at Reliability-Focused Energy Efficiency Programs Used to Help Address the Electricity Crisis of 2001" (PDF 347 KB) in April 2002.

National Conference of State Legislatures "Restructuring in Retrospect" (PDF 706 KB) — an October 2001 primer on electricity restructuring. Author: Matthew Brown, NCSL.

National Conference of State Legislatures' "State Incentives for Energy Efficiency" (PDF 166 KB) provides a survey (April 2001) of state energy efficiency incentives. Author: Christine Rewey, NCSL.

The Renewables Portfolio Standard: A Practical Guide(PDF 359 KB) National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, February 2001.

Rocky Mountain Restructuring: What Works for the Western States. Presentations and panel discussions from this May 1999 conference describe the restructuring experiences of legislators, regulators, energy suppliers and marketers, and other key decision-makers. This conference was sponsored by DOE via funding to the National Council on Electricity Policy.

Retail Electric Competition: A Blueprint for Consumer Protection (PDF 1.3 MB). This October 1998 Report examines laws and policies that can protect the consumer in a restructured electricity marketplace. Funding was provided by DOE.