The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) has released its Q3 2017 edition of The 50 States of Grid Modernization.The NC Clean Energy Technology Center is a chartered Public Service Center administered by the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University whose mission is to advance a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies.
The quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on grid modernization, utility business model and rate reforms, energy storage, microgrids, and demand response.
Key Grid Modernization Actions in Q3 2017
The report finds that 33 states and the District of Columbia took some type of action on grid modernization during Q3 2017 (see figure below). Specifically, the report finds that:
- 38 state or utility proposals in 21 states to implement demand response programs or deploy advanced metering infrastructure, smart grid technologies, microgrids, or energy storage were pending or decided.
- 20 states considered or enacted changes to policies related to grid modernization, including energy storage targets and clean peak standards.
- 19 states plus D.C. took action to study or investigate grid modernization, energy storage, demand response, or rate reform.
- 15 states plus 4 regional transmission organizations considered changes to utility planning processes or rules enabling market access.
- 12 states plus D.C. took action related to utility business model or rate reforms.
- 7 states considered adopting new incentives or making changes to existing incentives for energy storage and microgrids.
Q3 2017 Legislative and Regulatory Action on Grid Modernization
“Energy storage and other distributed energy resources are playing a large role in grid modernization efforts,” said Autumn Proudlove, lead author of the report and Manager of Policy Research at NCCETC. “Distributed energy resources are being increasingly viewed as a potential solution, rather than simply a challenge.”
Of the 33 states taking action on grid modernization during the quarter, 26 took actions specifically related to energy storage policies and deployment. Overall, the most common actions of the quarter related to advanced metering infrastructure, smart grid, and energy storage deployment, followed by grid modernization investigations.
A total of 184 state and utility-level actions related to grid modernization were proposed, pending, or enacted in Q3 2017. The report notes the top five policy developments of Q3 2017 were:
- Regulatory commissions in New Mexico and Washington amending integrated resource planning rules to require full evaluation of energy storage options.
- Oregon initiating a broad investigation into grid modernization and utility business models.
- The Texas Public Utilities Commission considering an ALJ’s proposal for decision that would allow AEP Texas North to own battery storage assets.
- California’s state legislature enacting a bill requiring utilities to consider the role of storage and other DERs to meet peak demand as part of the integrated resource planning process.
- The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s recommendation to open an expansive grid modernization proceeding.
“The level of activity we’ve seen around the country in recent months shows a significant and sustained interest in modernizing the grid all across the country,” noted Brian Lips, Senior Project Manager at NCCETC. “It will be fascinating to watch the policies being developed build the grid of tomorrow, as each state charts its own course while learning from others.”
The full 85-page report is available at this link.