21st Century Energy Task Force approaches the halfway point

The 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force hosted Oct. 31 what is believed to be its final meeting of 2019. To date, the task force has completed five hearings with another five meetings tentatively planned for the summer and fall of 2020.

During its first four meetings, the task force learned the details about energy generation and transmission in Indiana, including a tour of the MISO headquarters in Carmel. They heard from numerous parties, including electric cooperative representatives on three different occasions, who discussed baseload supply, demand, renewables, alternative generation sources and the role MISO and PJM play in energy generation and delivery.

The fifth and final meeting of 2019 Oct. 31 provided a clearer preview into what task force co-chairs Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) and Sen. Eric Koch (R-Bedford) anticipate accomplishing in 2020. Topics featured at that Task Force hearing included the following:

  • Transmission and grid modernization
  • Solar
  • Coal
  • An update from the Statewide Utility Forecasting Group
  • Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) presentations on the following subjects:
    • Ratemaking principles in a vertically-integrated and regulated market
    • Integrated resource planning, certificates of public convenience and necessity, purchase power agreements, and rate case processes
    • Balance and redundancy
    • Regulatory flexibility
    • Land use pre-emption
    • IURC process timeliness
    • Depreciation schedules
    • Emerging technologies
    • Risk sharing
    • Implementation costs
    • Status update on the IURC’s study of fuel source transitions and emerging technologies due to the task force July 1, 2020.

IEC has been closely monitoring developments of the task force and, up to this point, very little substantive policy has been proposed. With the informational portion of the meetings seemingly wrapped up, the government relations team expects a much more robust discussion in 2020 related to any changes policymakers deem are warranted in the area of energy generation and transmission, and possibly no changes at all.

In addition to the IURC study on fuel source transitions and emerging technologies referenced above, the law also requires the task force to develop recommendations to the governor and legislative leaders no later than Dec. 1, 2020, regarding challenges concerning Indiana’s generation portfolios, whether the IURC has the authority to consider the statewide impact of those changing generation portfolios, and how to maintain “reliable, resilient and affordable” electricity for all Hoosiers while encouraging the deployment of “advanced energy technologies.”

IEC has been very engaged in the task force meetings and, along with Hoosier Energy CEO Donna Walker, who is a governor’s appointee to the task force, will continue to monitor all task force activity and initiatives to ensure Indiana’s electric cooperatives are represented and have a voice in all task force meetings and discussions.