Understanding and Evaluating Potential Models for the Future Electric Power Utility
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Understanding and Evaluating Potential Models for the Future Electric Power Utility

  • Takeaways from the final phase of SEPA”s 51st State Initiative
  • Frameworks to guide thinking and decision-making about the future of the power sector
  • Useful for utilities, regulators, solutions providers, policymakers, and other stakeholders

An In-depth guide for identifying and evaluating future utility business models

The frameworks in this slide deck can help those in the power sector understand and analyze key power system design criteria, different constructs for future utility business models, and evaluation criteria for the different utility business model constructs. SEPA developed a set of frameworks to help synthesize the collective insights gathered from Phase III of the 51st State Initiative

What’s in the report

  • Overview of the pressures, threats, and opportunities facing the U.S. power sector
  • Six criteria and three additional factors influencing power system design
  • Four consensus doctrines that can serve as starting points for stakeholder conversations
  • Five potential future distribution system utility business model constructs (and their pros and cons)
  • Frameworks for evaluating the boundaries of the natural monopoly with regard to the various key functions of the distribution system
  • Review of traditional and innovative revenue mechanisms that can ensure financial sustainability of monopoly functions
  • Least-regrets moves to avoid hampering investment in DER and grid modernization

About the 51st State Initiative and Phase III

SEPA’s 51st State Initiative aimed to foster a community committed to collaboratively and constructively discussing the ways in which the power sector might evolve for long-term optimal deployment of distributed energy resources (DERs).

Phase III of the initiative started in late 2017 with a call for papers asking experts from across the sector how the role of the regulated monopoly utility might evolve at the distribution level. SEPA gathered and reviewed 13 submissions, held numerous follow-up discussions and events, and participated in other industry events and research.

Understanding and Evaluating Potential Models for the Future Electric Power Utility

Research report