Insights

Planning beyond Rate Cases: Michigan Orders Utilities to File Five-Year Distribution Investment and Maintenance Plans

February 12, 2019

In November 2018, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) issued an order setting a date of June 30, 2020, for Consumers Energy Company (Consumers) and DTE Electric Company (DTE) to file updates to their five-year distribution investment and maintenance plans. The order provided guidance on what should be included in the next versions of the plans.


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Decarbonization and RIIO in the United Kingdom

February 4, 2019

The United Kingdom is moving to a decarbonized energy sector and isn’t shying away from experimentation to get there. During a recent fact-finding trip, led by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), we gathered practical lessons for the United States and new approaches to growing challenges in the industry related to:


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Energy Industry Update—Don’t Stop Believin’: A Special Edition for the Utility Supply Chain Conference

January 28, 2019

As economic growth continues, and policies are increasingly driven by state and regional issues, utilities are placing bets, with large investments, on various growth strategies. They continue to face opposition and challenges from various stakeholders with disparate interests. Energy and utility companies will try to thread the needle of developing and upgrading much needed infrastructure, while satisfying those interests.


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Protected: Platts Utility Supply Chain Conference 2019

January 17, 2019

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Expanding Artificial Intelligence Applications to HR

January 15, 2019

Just like finance spreadsheets were a major breakthrough for finance departments, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to change how HR will operate in the future. Several companies already leverage AI to screen resumes, but recent AI technological developments, such as voice and image recognition, are expected to expand capabilities and create $100 billion of value in HR in the next 20 years.


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The Security Operating Model: Integrating Risk with Business Planning for Increased Alignment and Security Maturity

January 15, 2019

A security operating model enables an organization to focus on identifying risks, recommending risk responses, facilitating tradeoff decisions related to these risks, and providing a line of sight to the execution of these responses. The core of this model is a collaborative continuous improvement process designed to sustain the controls that secure the enterprise. You can learn more about the advantages of a security operating model in “The Security Operating Model: A Strategic Approach for Building a More Secure Organization.”


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Driving Innovation and Sustainable Cost Reductions for the Nuclear Generation Sector

December 19, 2018

Introduction

With the advent of lower natural gas prices in North America, the nuclear generation industry in the United States has been under significant and continuing cost pressure. Across the industry, every effort is being made to identify and capture opportunities for sustainable cost reduction. While cost reduction is nothing new to the nuclear industry, the competitive pressure has intensified in recent years.


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New Jersey among Many States Combatting Early Nuclear Retirement

December 13, 2018

A study conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists and applauded by the Nuclear Energy Institute claimed that 21 of 60 nuclear plants in the United States are at risk of early retirement largely due to inadequate rates of return and lower pricing of other competing generation types. To combat early retirements, many states are establishing nuclear subsidy programs to compensate financially challenged nuclear plants for the environmental attributes of
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Starbucks Coffee Now Brewing with Wind Power

December 11, 2018

Soon the cup of coffee customers buy from a Starbucks in the state of Illinois will be brewed using renewable energy generated by wind turbines. The Seattle-based coffee giant recently signed a long-term agreement with Constellation, Exelon’s commercial business, to power more than 340 Starbucks locations in Illinois with 100% carbon-free energy.


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Xcel Energy Prepares for the Future with Its Integrated Distribution Plan Filing in Minnesota

December 10, 2018

On November 1, 2018, Northern States Power Minnesota, d/b/a Xcel Energy, filed its first Integrated Distribution Plan (IDP), fulfilling the requirements of an IDP Order issued by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) on August 30, 2018. The comprehensive filing includes a wealth of information regarding the current state of the distribution system, notice of near-term investments, and a 15-year roadmap of potential future investments. The plan highlights Xcel Energy’s focus on customers, linking the grid investments to the expected customer benefits and new offerings. Xcel Energy notes that it intends to formally request approval for the investments and bring forward the costs and benefits for the MPUC’s approval through future IDP/grid modernization filings or as part of a general rate case.


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Sussex Economic Advisors is now part of ScottMadden. We invite you to learn more about our expanded firm. Please use the Contact Us form to request additional information.