Traditional utility planning typically involves three largely independent planning processes for generation, transmission, and distribution. The emergence and rapid growth of renewable and behind-the-meter distributed energy resource (DER) options has created challenges for utility planners to simultaneously ensure economical grid reliability and meet aggressive carbon reduction targets. We have observed that regulators are increasingly expecting utilities to adjust their planning processes and are examining utility applications for new resources from a holistic perspective.
CRA supports utility planning for the energy transition, producing dozens of resource plans and testifying in many states on the need to evolve the resource mix to meet decarbonization goals while ensuring reliability and customer affordability. CRA worked with American Electric Power on planning issues for several years, including on the development of an organizational roadmap that clearly defines the steps the AEP organization will need to take to integrate its planning process and deliver benefits of a fully integrated planning process to its stakeholders. This endeavor was part of a multi-year program designed to update the traditional planning process to address the increasing levels of renewable and distributed resources connecting to the grid.
To read more about our support of American Electric Power and their journey to an integrated planning process, click here.