Regulated utilities are monopolies, protected by laws, rules, and franchises that sometimes interfere with microgrid operations that are otherwise technically feasible, highly efficient, and cost-effective. We systematically review technological and business-plan options for 21st Century microgrids, in sequence from easiest to implement in the current legal and regulatory climates to options typically blocked by current laws, policies, and rules. Case study examples: (a) explore the types of 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 and community economic development.
Session Track 3A
Tom Stanton, National Regulatory Research Institute
Michael Zimmer, Microgrids Institute