PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Task Force for Comprehensive Electricity Planning has announced that Rhode Island was named one of 16 states to represent the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Association of State Energy Officials on the joint task force.
The two-year collaborative initiative of NARUC and NASEO, announced last November, is a forum for participating states to develop new approaches to better align distribution system and resource planning processes in order to prepare their electrical grids for the future. The selected states will pioneer new tools and roadmaps for aligning planning to meet states' needs while applying insights from the task force to initiate action in their own states. At the conclusion of the task force, NARUC and NASEO will publish templates that all members can adapt and use for their states.
"Our electrical grid is evolving," said Rhode Island State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. "As more renewable technologies such as solar and wind come online, and we continue our push to electrify transportation and heating, we are hard at work preparing our grid to accommodate these changes. We are proud to be selected for this joint task force and look forward lending our expertise as well as learning from other member states as we all work together to bring our electrical grids into the future."
"This is an historic partnership, which is necessitated by the ever-changing power system, at a time when leadership is needed," said NARUC President Nick Wagner of the Iowa Utilities Board. "The utility regulatory community looks forward to working together with our state energy office colleagues to provide the tools and roadmap for a positive future."
NASEO Board Chair and task force Co-Vice Chair Andrew McAllister looks forward to working with state regulators to examine electricity planning issues. "This process will help us stay ahead of rapidly accelerating technological advancements and extract the most value from them, rather than playing catch up and missing opportunities," he said, adding, "We look forward to working with our colleagues and stakeholders to improve the outcomes for everyone."
The following individuals from Rhode Island will serve on the joint task force: Margaret Curran, Chairperson, Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission, Carrie Gill, Ph.D., Chief, Program Development, Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, and Jonathan Schrag, Deputy Administrator, Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers
Twenty-one states requested to join the task force. Based on evaluations of the states' submissions, 16 were invited to join because they offer diverse and representative combinations of geographies, market models, current planning approaches and state policy goals.
The 16 members are: Arizona, Arkansas, California (co-vice chair), Colorado (co-chair), Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio (co-vice chair), Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Utah (co-chair) and Virginia.
The task force initiative is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and will hold its first working meeting this spring. More information is available on the Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning website at www.naruc.org/taskforce.