Nevada Proposes New Distributed Resources Plan

On October 8, 2018, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) of Nevada approved an Order requiring Nevada’s public electric utility, NV Energy, to incorporate Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), such as solar and energy storage, into its three-year system plan. The Order, in meeting the requirements of Senate Bill 146, requires NV Energy to submit a Distributed Resources Plan (DRP) as part of its triennial integrated resource plan.

Key Details

  • The requirements for the DRP outline the following key components:
    • Forecast of net distribution system load and DER penetration (both energy and nameplate capacity) at the system, substation, and feeder levels
    • Hosting Capacity Analysis, to determine the amount of DERs that can be accommodated on each feeder section without adverse impacts
    • Locational Net Benefits Analysis that supports a location-specific cost-benefit analysis of DER projects, which will serve as the basis for comparison between Non-Wires Alternatives (NWAs) and traditional solutions
    • Grid Needs Assessment (GNA) that will combine the three components above for analysis of NWAs; the GNA will identify constraints on the electric grid and infrastructure upgrades and/or DER projects that may provide solutions to those constraints
  • The regulation was developed through a year-long stakeholder engagement process that involved NV Energy, Commission Staff, and other stakeholders
  • NV Energy is expected to file its initial DRP in April 2019

Implications

This Order puts Nevada alongside leading states, such as California, Hawaii, and New York, in requiring that utilities take DERs into consideration as part of their system planning processes. This is a notable commitment to DER integration in a state that has been widely publicized for its contentious removal of net metering without a grandfathering clause for existing solar customers. Through the required distribution planning forecasts and analyses and by requiring integration with the resources plan, Nevada has elevated the role of DERs to meet grid needs. As the DRPs are developed and reviewed in Nevada, we’ll have another approach to look to—in addition to the in-flight proceedings in California, New York, and Hawaii—in determining the best way to plan for DERs.

More Information

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Contributing Authors

Chris Sturgill Manager
Freedom David Manager

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