World Resource Institute

Problem-solving for utilities and their corporate customers

A Challenging Time for U.S. Utilities

In the United States, utilities face an uncertain carbon regulatory regime, competition from new market participants and flat to declining loads. Under competitive pressure for transformation, utilities must maintain investor confidence through robust and stable returns.

Customers Want Clean Energy on the Grid

Many large customers want to work constructively with their utilities to access renewable energy and manage energy costs.

Utilities that take advantage of this demand for renewable energy are positioned to retain large customer loads and attract new investment to their service territories.

Both vertically integrated and restructured utilities have much to gain from collaborating closely with these customers.

Join the Special Clean Power Council

WRI convenes the Special Clean Power Council (CPC), a two-year collaboration between leading U.S. electric utilities and major commercial customers representing the technology, manufacturing, automotive and retail sectors. Through the CPC’s four subject matter working groups, the partnership drives innovation in the utility sector to achieve an efficient and economic transition to clean energy resources while growing businesses across America.

To learn more, contact Priya Barua and visit cleanpowercouncil.org.

New Business Models for Utility Renewable Energy

Through Customer-Utility Engagement Forums, WRI facilitates collaborative problem-solving between utility executives and their corporate customers.

Before the forum, WRI works with the client utility’s executive team, corporate buyers and sustainability executives to identify relevant regulatory processes, state policy issues and rate-making matters.

A half-day problem-solving workshop focuses on solutions that maintain system reliability, stability and affordability while creating new business models that bring clean energy online under structures that regulators can approve. Solutions can go beyond utility-designed voluntary renewable energy products and strive for larger GHG reductions and benefits to the grid, including:

  • Increased access to affordable renewable or low-carbon energy;
  • Innovative strategies for managing customer load;
  • Customer provided ancillary or other reliability services.

Past forums have resulted in:

  1. Utility-customer driven innovative solutions that regulators have approved. More than 750 MW of clean energy deals have directly emerged from these new tariffs.
  2. Regional “Best Practices” for simplifying access to low-cost, clean energy options while conveying overall benefits to the grid.
  3. Transactions that deliver new renewable energy to the grid and benefits to both the utility and the customers, e.g. Microsoft and Dominion’s 20 MW solar project and Puget Sound Energy’s wind announcement.

The following utilities have participated in forums during 2014-2016:

  • American Electric Power (11 states)

  • Con Edison (New York)

  • Dominion Virginia Power (Virginia)

  • Duke Energy (North Carolina)

  • NV Energy (Nevada)

  • Portland General Electric & PacifiCorp (Oregon)

  • Rocky Mountain Power (Utah)

To learn more, contact Priya Baura.