Inaugural 50 States of Grid Modernization Report Launches

17 May 2017

The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its inaugural issue of The 50 States of Grid Modernization. The new quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on grid modernization, utility business model and rate reform, energy storage, microgrids and demand response. 

Key Grid Modernization Actions in Q1 2017

The report finds that 37 states and the District of Columbia took some type of action on grid modernization during Q1 2017 (see figure below). Specifically, the report finds that:

·         36 state or utility proposals in 19 states to implement demand response programs or deploy advanced metering infrastructure, smart grid technologies, microgrids or energy storage were pending or decided. 

·         16 states considered or enacted changes to policies related to grid modernization, including energy storage targets and clean peak standards.

·         16 states plus the District of Columbia took action to study or investigate grid modernization, energy storage, demand response or rate reform.

·         13 states took action related to utility business model or rate reform.

·         12 states considered changes to utility planning processes or state rules enabling market access.

·         11 states considered adopting new incentives or making changes to existing incentives for energy storage and other advanced grid technologies.

Q1 2017 Legislative and Regulatory Action on Grid Modernization 

“A majority of states are currently taking steps to modernize the electric grid, all the way from conducting studies to deploying new technology,” noted Autumn Proudlove, lead author of the report and Manager of Policy Research at NCCETC. “We’re thrilled to offer this new resource for industry stakeholders to stay on top of these legislative and regulatory developments and for policymakers to learn about active efforts in other states.”

While states are taking diverse approaches to grid modernization, some of the most common proposals considered during Q1 2017 related to incentives for energy storage systems, time-varying rates for residential customers, and deployment of advanced metering infrastructure.

A total of 148 state and utility-level actions related to grid modernization were proposed, pending or enacted in Q1 2017. The report notes the top five policy developments of Q1 2017 were:

  • The Maryland legislature advancing a state tax credit for energy storage systems;
  • Illinois and Ohio launching grid modernization proceedings;
  • New Hampshire completing its multi-year grid modernization investigation;
  • The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission releasing a draft policy statement on energy storage in integrated resource planning; and 
  • The New York Public Service Commission issuing a monumental order on distributed energy resource compensation.

“It’s a very exciting time to be watching the electric utility industry,” said Brian Lips, DSIRE Project Manager at NCCETC. “Emerging technologies are promising big improvements to the grid, but also pushing states into deeper policy conversations to enable these advancements. We hope the 50 States of Grid Modernization helps to inform these conversations by sharing the incredible scale and diversity of dialogue happening across the country.”

North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center | http://www.nccleantech.ncsu.edu