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Ohio Commission Launches PowerForward Initiative

Two workgroups will address specific tasks articulated in the roadmap and will build upon the collaborative process of the initiative.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has launched the PowerForward initiative, through which it wants to define the changes in regulatory policy as well as the technologies and processes employed by utilities and their relationship with customers.

The document, PowerForward: Roadmap to Ohio’s Electricity Future, summarizes the way ahead.

EnerNex has been chosen technical consultant for the commission and to facilitate the Data & Modern Grid Workgroup (DWG) and the Distribution System Planning Workgroup (PWG).

The two workgroups will address specific tasks articulated in the roadmap and will build upon the collaborative process of the initiative.

The DWG will focus on technologies that will give customers real time or near real time access to energy data by connecting qualified home area network devices with smart meters. This workgroup will also try to make this data available securely to competitive retail energy service providers and other third-party providers.

The PWG will explore issues surrounding an integrated distribution system planning process. This includes beneficial siting of energy storage, mechanisms and technologies required for hosting capacity analysis, interconnection standards and functionalities for advanced inverters. The workgroup will also explore the proper approach to the consideration and procurement of non-wires alternatives, and necessary portals to communicate key market and distribution grid planning information to customers.The DWG kick-off meeting, held on March 5, set the foundation and baseline for future workgroup sessions.

The PWG will hold its kick-off meeting on March 27. The primary focus of this initial meeting will be educational, aiming to establish a baseline understanding of distribution resource planning within the context of grid modernization.

On Aug. 29 last year, the commission issued the roadmap, which envisions the future electric distribution grid as a secure, open-access platform that will give customers more control over how they consume electricity and allow customers to adopt innovative applications as they are introduced in the market.

“The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has taken a leadership position by fostering collaboration among stakeholders,” said EnerNex CEO Jeff Lamoree. “We applaud the commission for its vision, dedication and actions that leverage technology advancements, embrace change and stimulate innovation. These are the foundations of an effective grid modernization effort.”

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