Ohio Closes Grid Modernization, Customer Data Proceedings; Policy Left To Future Cases; Utility-Specific Approaches Cited
Concurrence Urges Interval Data To Be Used For Wholesale Settlement So Retail Suppliers May Design Better Products
April 22, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio issued an order finding that the work of the PowerForward
Collaborative (grid modernization), the Distribution System Planning Workgroup, and the Data and Modern
Grid Workgroup has been completed, and directed that these cases be closed of record.
Various policy decisions will be left to future proceedings
As previously reported, PUCO established a Distribution System Planning Workgroup (PWG) and a Data and Modern Grid
The DWG was focused on addressing
the following tasks: create protocol for data privacy protections; drive toward real-time or
near real-time data becoming available to customers; prescribe methodology for third
parties to obtain customer energy usage data (CEUD), including a method for competitive
retail electric service (CRES) providers to obtain total hourly energy obligation, peak load
contribution, and network service peak load values.
PUCO said in its order that, "We believe that future steps in grid
modernization continue to merit both thoughtful consideration and public education as we
plan for investment into cost-effective measures in the future. Therefore, now that [the PowerForward consultant]
has filed its respective reports regarding the PWG and DWG for the period of January 16,
2019, through January 16, 2020, the Commission finds it appropriate to review the future
roles of the Collaborative, the PWG and the DWG. The Commission will take into
consideration the respective reports in their entirety. However, the current state of grid
modernization for each individual EDU in this state is substantially different from the other
EDUs; therefore, although the recommendations contained in each report will be the
starting point, such recommendations will need to be adapted to each EDU on a case-by-case
basis, based upon the differing facts and circumstances of each EDU."
"Further, although we will continue to investigate the remaining issues raised
in the [PowerForward] Roadmap, these issues should be addressed in discrete, individual proceedings. In
some instances, these issues may require new proceedings," PUCO said
regard to data access, it is the policy of this state to encourage cost-effective, timely, and
efficient access to and sharing of customer usage data with customers and competitive
suppliers to promote customer choice and grid modernization. R.C. 4928.02(O)," PUCO said
With respect to customer data, PUCO further said, "The
Commission believes that timely and efficient access to and sharing of customer usage data
with customers and competitive suppliers is necessary to promote customer choice and grid
modernization, subject to appropriate consumer privacy protections. Thus, we anticipate
that the pursuit of this goal will continue through the issuance of staff recommendations in
appropriate dockets, along with staff recommendations on implementation of other specific
measures that are directed at broadening the opportunity for customers to act on their
supply side and demand side preferences regarding the delivered price, mix and availability
of innovative competitive and non-competitive products and services."
In a concurrence, Commissioner M. Beth Trombold urged the use of interval AMI data for wholesale settlement, noting it is needed for retail suppliers to offer better products.
Trombold said, "To be sure, grid modernization issues are more complicated in a restructured
state than in states that are vertically integrated. Ohio restructured its electric market in
1999. I worked on Senate Bill 3 and have worked on issues related to its implementation my
entire career at the PUCO. Much has changed over 20 years; however, the data access issues
at the forefront of the data workgroup report are not new, and their solutions are not novel.
Electric Distribution Utilities (EDUs) that have deployed advanced meters--for the benefit
of customers and with ratepayer dollars--must make the interval data readily available to
customers and to Competitive Retail Electric Service (CRES) providers authorized by the
customer to receive it. The interval data must also be used by the EDUs for wholesale
settlement so that CRES providers have the opportunity to build a better business case in
Ohio. To not do these things is to devalue the investment made across the state in advanced
meters and to move away from—instead of towards—greater customer engagement."
In a separate concurrence, Commissioner Daniel R. Conway also wrote, "[the] Final Report for the DWG indicates that where Advanced Metering
Infrastructure (AMI) is deployed it is now possible to make available to customers on a real-time
(or near real-time) basis access to their energy usage data (CEUD), so that they can
better manage their energy consumption."
The DWG report, "also indicates that
enabling access to CEUD to customers’ CRES providers and third parties, where the
customers consent to the access, is practical and can be accomplished while maintaining
appropriate data privacy protections," Conway said
Regarding other issues, PUCO noted ongoing proceedings, stating, "For example, statewide
interconnection standards are being addressed in the five-year rule review for Ohio
Adm.Code Chapter 22. In the Matter of the Commission’s review of Chapter 4901:1-22 of the Ohio Administrative Code, Case No. 18-884-EL-ORD. Likewise, the Commission is investigating
our jurisdiction over electric vehicle charging services in this state. In the Matter of the
Commission’s Investigation into Electric Vehicle Charging Service, Case No. 20-434-EL-COI."
Case No(s). 18-1595-EL-GRD, 18-1596-EL-GRD, 18-1597-EL-GRD