Midwest Energy News – May 22, 2017
By Frank Jossi
Minnesota regulators recently heard proposals from Xcel Energy to introduce a sophisticated new electric grid software platform and to build an energy storage system instead of a substation.
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) certified the need for the $27 million software platform while requesting more information on the storage project to determine whether it would be a good deal for ratepayers. The commission requires Xcel to file the modernization plans. …
Leadership in Minnesota
Utility Dive pointed to Minnesota as one of five leading states for grid modernization, citing both the commission’s work and that of a coalition of stakeholders known as the e21 Initiative.
Last year the Minnesota PUC issued a 42-page grid modernization staff report that covered regulatory issues, hosting capacity, time-varying rates, smart inverters, integrated resource plans and a host of other topics.
The commission recently received a second report from Xcel identifying its “hosting capacity,” which basically refers to how much more power the system could absorb and still function at a high level, Lange said.
The Institute For Local Self-Reliance used Xcel’s data to determine 1,851 megawatts of hosting capacity is available, even after considering projects being built or approved.