WASHINGTON (Nov. 9, 2020)—In the energy realm, Texas is a recognized leader in competition and in supporting customer choice. However, it currently has the opportunity to expand upon that success by extending these values into the distribution system. The growth of Distributed Energy Resources is changing the nature and role of the operation of the distribution system, which will require utilities and regulators to ensure that the system is properly prepared to utilize these new resources. New policies and processes, like distribution system planning and hosting capacity, can help customers and developers better understand where DER can provide the greatest benefit. They also provide utilities and regulators with better insight into trends and impacts DER may have on utility investments, planning, customer service and bills.

In a new policy study, Chris Villarreal, associate fellow of energy policy at R Street, argues that DER will allow for better utilization of the distribution system, but only if customers and markets are made aware of the system and their opportunity to participate in it.

Villarreal finds that regulators can help the development of these markets by opening up utility distribution planning activities to support customer choice and locating these resources in more optimal and beneficial locations: “By creating an environment where DER and their developers can participate in markets—both wholesale and retail –Texas can maintain its leadership,” says Villarreal.

Read the full paper, “Enabling and Benefiting from Distributed Energy Resources in Texas,” here.