Repowering the Western Economy

Repowering the Western Economy is the umbrella for CNEE’s work with Western states and utilities as they transition to clean energy sources. In 2017 and 2018, CNEE held several regional convenings to continue the Western dialogue we started in 2014 in response to EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Since 2019, we have been working directly with individual states and utilities to help them develop and implement their climate and clean energy plans.

The rapid policy and technology changes underway in the Western electricity sector did not end with the Clean Power Plan, and CNEE has remained at the forefront of helping Western states and utilities successfully navigate these new frontiers. In 2019, Governor Ritter and CNEE led an advisory group process to help Tri-State Generation and Transmission develop their Responsible Energy Plan announced in January 2020.

In early 2020, CNEE, at the request of the Western Energy Industry Leaders (WEIL), convened a group of Western governors’ energy advisors along with a small but diverse group of experts representing utilities, power marketing administrations, renewable energy companies, and clean energy advocates. The goal of this effort, referred to as the Western Interconnect Regional Electricity Dialogue (WIRED), was to provide a set of recommendations to governors by the end of the year. To achieve this goal, CNEE facilitated a series of work group meetings to discuss and analyze a range of regional electricity issues including state clean energy and climate policies, resource adequacy (RA), and transmission development.

Repowering the Western Economy is the umbrella for CNEE’s work with Western states and utilities as they transition to clean energy sources. In 2017 and 2018, CNEE held several regional convenings to continue the Western dialogue we started in 2014 in response to EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Since 2019, we have been working directly with individual states and utilities to help them develop and implement their climate and clean energy plans.

The rapid policy and technology changes underway in the Western electricity sector did not end with the Clean Power Plan, and CNEE has remained at the forefront of helping Western states and utilities successfully navigate these new frontiers. In 2019, Governor Ritter and CNEE led an advisory group process to help Tri-State Generation and Transmission develop their Responsible Energy Plan announced in January 2020.

In early 2020, CNEE, at the request of the Western Energy Industry Leaders (WEIL), convened a group of Western governors’ energy advisors along with a small but diverse group of experts representing utilities, power marketing administrations, renewable energy companies, and clean energy advocates. The goal of this effort,  referred to as the Western Interconnect Regional Electricity Dialogue (WIRED), was to provide a set of recommendations to governors by the end of the year. To achieve this goal, CNEE facilitated a series of work group meetings to discuss and analyze a range of regional electricity issues including state clean energy and climate policies, resource adequacy (RA), and transmission development.

Contact: Patrick Cummins, Senior Policy Advisor

Western Interconnect Regional Electricity Dialogue (WIRED) Working Group Reports November 2020

States are implementing two primary, yet parallel policy approaches to reduce emissions from the electric power sector: (1) transition to renewable and non-emitting resources and (2) direct regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. While these two programmatic approaches are rooted in the same purpose―to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately decarbonize the electric grid―they focus on different ways to achieve this goal.
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Ensuring adequate resources for reliability has always been a cornerstone of utility service. The availability and type of generation resources and new technologies are changing rapidly and market participants are implementing new ways to integrate resources across the Western Interconnection. There are challenges and opportunities as the West transitions to a cleaner grid. A collaborative and coordinated effort by the states, utilities, market participants and advocates can address these challenges and embrace the opportunities.
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The transmission planning and development working group report builds upon the foundation and recommendations from the WIRED Resource Adequacy Working Group and works in harmony with the recommendations of the GHG Working Group. Ultimately, transmission planning and development is a mechanism to preserve reliability, facilitate access to low-cost energy and achieve resource and policy goals, and is not an end in and of itself.
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New Mexico Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Forecast

Patrick Cummins

Senior Policy Advisor​

Patrick Cummins is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Center for the New Energy Economy where he leads the Center’s work with Western states, utilities, and stakeholders on the transition to a low-carbon economy.  Patrick has been working with Western states and stakeholders on air quality and climate programs for 30 years, including at Metro Denver’s Regional Air Quality Council, and as the Director of Air Quality and Climate Programs at the Western Governors’ Association.  Prior to joining Governor Ritter’s team at Colorado State University he served as Executive Director of the Western Climate Initiative, where he helped develop and implement the world’s first economy-wide cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions which is being implemented by the State of California and the Province of Quebec.  Patrick has a Chemistry Degree from Fort Lewis College and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy from Indiana University.

 
 

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