Electricity Trajectory Management Act

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Summary

The Electricity Trajectory Management Act will safeguard electricity reliability in light of projected rapid growth in electricity grid demand. The technology industry plans to accelerate the construction and utilization of electronic data centers and artificial intelligence projects, which require tremendous amounts of electricity. Additionally, the federal government is inducing and forcing a transition from conventional vehicles to electric vehicles, which will also add substantial demand to the energy grid. Present electricity generation is insufficient to safely meet projected demand. This Act requires a halt to decommissioning existing dispatchable power facilities for the purpose of replacing them with non-dispatchable power. This Act also directs the state public utilities commission to commission new dispatchable power sources to meet anticipated growth in electricity demand.

Electricity Trajectory Management Act

The legislature of [name of state] finds that:

  1. American families and American industries depend on reliable and affordable electricity for everything they do, from medical equipment to lifesaving climate control in their homes and workplaces;
  2. electricity demand must be met with electricity supply instantly, or interruptions of service result;
  3. American electricity demand grew less than 0.5% per year between 2000 and 2023, and was flat between 2010 and 2020;
  4. electric grid operators project a rapid increase in American electricity demand, up 4.7% between 2023 and 2028;
  5. rapid growth of electricity demand without sufficient baseload generation in place to meet the demand jeopardizes reliability and affordability and will cause interruptions of service, often when needed most, during the hottest or coldest months;
  6. 230 coal plants, which produced 20% of American electricity in 2022, are being targeted for closure by activist groups, state and federal regulators, and utilities, with dozens across the nation slated for closure in the next three years;
  7. the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), the Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) MISO, and PMJ have warned that large swathes of the United States face elevated risks of electricity shortfalls now and in the future;
  8. restricting the supply of electricity without immediate substitutes jeopardizes reliability and affordability and will cause interruptions of service, often when needed most, during the hottest or coldest months;
  9. America’s coal and natural gas plants should not be recklessly decommissioned or regulated out of existence, they should be kept online (readily available) to meet the projected rapid increase in electricity demand caused by new data centers and electric vehicles;
  10. the [name of state public utilities commission] must prioritize retaining and adding dispatchable, on-demand baseload power to meet the anticipated increase in demand; and
  11. newly built data centers should be the first to have their power curtailed in the event that new dispatchable power is not added to the grid and electricity blackouts or brownouts occur.
  12. the state has a duty to defend the production and supply of affordable, reliable, and secure energy from external regulatory interference.  The state’s sovereign authority with respect to the involuntary retirement of an in-state electric generation facility for the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the state’s citizens is primary and takes precedence over any attempt from an external regulatory body to mandate, restrict, or influence the early involuntary retirement of an electric generation facility in the state.

SECTION 1. Definitions

As used in this section:

(a) “Dispatchable” or on demand power means a source of electricity that is readily available for use on demand and can be dispatched upon request of a power grid operator, or one that can have its power output adjusted according to market needs, except for routine maintenance or repairs;

(b) “Reliable” means a source of electricity that is not subject to intermittent availability, has a performance standard of 80% or greater and only falls below that level during routine maintenance or repairs;

(c) “Electric generation facility” means a facility that uses water, coal, natural gas, or nuclear to generate reliable or dispatchable electricity for provision to customers;

(d) “Firm power” includes dispatchable, reliable power generation, as well as battery storage in excess of 24 hours. Firm power does not include power that is not dispatchable.

(e) “peak industrial user” means a physical location and/or facility that is industrial in nature and among the top 5% of energy users in their county.

 

SECTION 2. Protecting Electricity Users Reliability and Availability

(a) The commission shall not authorize or approve the retirement of a firm electric generation facility as proposed in a rate case, integrated resource plan or other submission to the commission, until there is the equal or greater contracted new firm power presently available on the grid, not from prospects in the future, to replace the loss of firm power brought about by the proposed closure.

In assessing the amount of firm replacement power needed, the commission shall consider imminent and planned firm power closures in other states of the member RTO as well as in our own state. If other states are not replacing their retired or firm power, or their firm power scheduled for retirement, with an equal or greater amounts of firm power, the commission shall add these shortages to their firm power replacement calculations before approving the closure.

(b) The commission shall prioritize new generation from dispatchable sources ahead of proposed new generation from non-dispatchable sources.

(c) The commission shall aim to increase dispatchable power by at least 5% between 2023 and 2028.

(d) In the event that dispatchable power does not increase at least 5% between 2023 and 2028, peak industrial users that begin operations after January 1, 2025 shall be the first to experience the impacts of any electricity blackout or brownout.

(e) If the Federal Government, through regulation, forces costly upgrades or other requirements leading to the closure of existing firm power plants, the State and commission shall seek waivers until there is replacement firm power available to the electric grid to replace the retirement.

If waivers are not granted, the state and commission shall seek a court injunction and bring litigation against the implementation of the regulations until firm power replacement is brought online. In order to protect electric reliability.

 

SECTION 3. Utilities; Rates and Charges; Loss of In-State Electrical Generation.

(a)  An in-state electricity generator that receives notice of any external regulatory action that makes continued operation economically infeasible or may result in the involuntary retirement or decommissioning of the generator’s facility shall inform the commissioner of the department of energy of the notice and regulation within 30 days after the receipt of said notice.

(1)  The department of energy shall open an investigatory docket to determine how such an involuntary retirement or decommissioning would affect the reliability and affordability of the state’s energy resources and to recommend any action necessary to defend the generator, including appealing to the attorney general to file an action in court or to participate in administrative proceedings.

(2)  The department of energy and the department of justice may seek funding from the legislative fiscal committee to conduct any actions under this section.

(b)  Any act or omission by a state agency inconsistent with this section shall not form the basis of any civil suit including, but not limited to, those seeking equitable relief or claiming damages.

 

SECTION 4. Severability

Each section, paragraph, and portion of each paragraph of this Act is severable. If one or more sections, paragraphs, or portions of one or more paragraphs of this Act are held invalid on their face or as applied to particular facts, then the remaining portions and applications of the Act shall be given full effect to the greatest extent practicable.

 

SECTION 5. Applicability and Effective Date