On Friday, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) announced that it was awarded five new federal cooperative agreements for the NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation (CPI) to support ongoing education for state utility regulators. The $14.2 million awards, from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), represent federal support for utility regulator training and peer collaboration related to issues including interoperability, cybersecurity, carbon capture and energy justice.
Under these grants, CPI will establish several new initiatives and resources, such as a grid data-sharing collaborative among utility stakeholders, transmission planning research, an energy justice roundtable and an energy resilience reference guide for NARUC members. These projects, among others, are supported by the following grantors:
- NIST Engineering Laboratory in support of Regulator Smart Grid Engagement: 1-year smart grid partnership
- NIST Engineering Laboratory in support of Direct Technical Assistance for Public Utility Commissions on Interoperability: 2-year direct technical assistance on interoperability
- DOE Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management in support of DOE-NARUC Coal Modernization and Carbon Management Partnership: 5-year partnership
- DOE Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response in support of Programmatic Collaboration and Coordination with State Energy Regulators: 5-year partnership
- DOE Office of Electricity in support of Programmatic Collaboration and Coordination with State Energy Regulators: 5-year partnership
“These awards affirm the value and quality of resources that NARUC — through CPI — is able to provide to our members and the broader utility stakeholder community,” said NARUC President Paul Kjellander of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. “We look forward to working with our federal partners on these exciting new initiatives.”
“Our state utility regulators do not often have the means to develop the type of resources and programming that will be offered through these grants,” said NARUC Executive Director Greg White. “We are all very pleased and excited to have the opportunity to serve the needs of our members at an even higher level.”
In addition to these new awards, CPI maintains ongoing cooperative agreements with the DOE Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management supporting a natural gas partnership and the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy supporting a nuclear energy partnership.
“NARUC truly values our collaborations with DOE and NIST, which enable the CPI team to identify emerging challenges and connect state utility commissions with expertise and strategies to navigate the complex decision-making their positions require,” said CPI Director Danielle Sass Byrnett. “Thanks to this generous federal funding, CPI will expand its reach in building relationships, developing resources and delivering training that provides answers to state commissions’ questions.”