Eversource has submitted its final 10-year Electric Sector Modernization Plan (ESMP) to modernize the electric distribution system and help meet the commonwealth’s decarbonization goals after including feedback from the Grid Mod Advisory Council (GMAC) and stakeholders to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU).
ESMP is a roadmap to transform the region’s power grid, enhance its resiliency and strengthen reliability for customers by increasing renewable energy production and electrifying the heating and transportation sectors. It also established a Community Engagement Stakeholder Advisory Group (CESAG) and expanded efforts for proposed clean energy infrastructure projects to involve all potentially impacted stakeholders.
The plan will help achieve 180% increase in electrification hosting capacity, which will provide additional capacity to enable 2.5 million electric vehicles statewide, 1 million residential heat pumps within the company’s territory, and an incremental 2.2 GW of additional solar hosting capacity, bringing the total distributed energy resource (DER) hosting capacity system wide to 5.8 GW.
According to the company’s system engineers, an approximately 20% increase in electric demand is expected in the next decade driven primarily by imminent economic growth and a 150% electric demand increase by 2050, driven by electrification of heating systems (50%) and transportation (25%), as well as normal load growth (25%).
Eversource has proposed to build new clean energy substations and conduct upgrades on existing substations. The investments will be accompanied by improvements to the grid to survive the impacts of major storms, flooding, and other threats due to climate change.
Integrated gas-electric planning is also an important part of the plan.