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POLICY PATHWAYS FOR MICROGRIDS –
Progress Cases from Multiple Jurisdictions
Tom Stanton, National Regulatory Research Institute
Regulated utilities are monopolies, protected by laws and rules that sometimes interfere with microgrid operations that are otherwise technically feasible and cost-effective. A systematic review of technological and business-plan options for microgrids is presented, in sequence from easiest to implement in the current legal and regulatory climates to options typically blocked by current laws and rules. Case study examples: (a) explore existing state laws and rules that facilitate or hinder microgrid development; and, (b) describe both already-open and readily achievable pathways for enabling microgrids for the benefit of the utility system as a whole. – – What are the various “use cases” for microgrids, and how do they intersect with existing laws, rules, and regulations?
– Where is progress being made, and what are the policy keys to unlocking that progress?
– Are there viable roles for existing regulated monopoly utility companies in microgrid development and operations? If yes, what are those roles and how might they be adequately regulated?
– How do emerging off-grid and dual-use (meaning either on- or off-grid) technologies apply in different contexts, and what regulatory approaches apply to them?
– How do emerging off-grid and dual-use (meaning either on- or off-grid) technologies apply in different contexts, and what regulatory approaches apply to them ?
About the Presenter
Tom Stanton is Principal Researcher, Energy and Environment, at the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI), where he has worked since fall 2010. Tom specializes in state public utility regulatory policy research, primarily about renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid-modernization, and global climate change.
A life-long resident of Michigan, Tom previously worked for Michigan’s state government for over 32 years, with 10 years at the State Energy Office and over 22 years at the Michigan Public Service Commission. Mr. Stanton earned a B.A. in Communications and M.A. in Journalism, both from Michigan State University, and an M.S. in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. He is also a long-time member of the World Future Society, and studies eco-villages and long-term sustainability.
Together, Tom and his wife Carol are the owners of the Lansing, Michigan Darius B. Moon House Historic District, the 1890s stick-style Victorian home in Lansing’s Westside Neighborhood. Mr. Moon, the architect, building contractor, and carpenter, built the home for himself and his family to live in.
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