All 50 US states took steps toward grid modernisation in Q2 finds report

All 50 US states took steps toward grid modernisation in Q2 finds report
FirstEnergy utility worker completes grid modernisation work under the Grid Mod I plan. Credit: FirstEnergy

The report finds that all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, took actions related to grid modernisation during Q2 2023, with the greatest number of actions relating to energy storage deployment (50), utility business model reforms (47), distribution system planning (34), interconnection rules (33), integrated resource planning (25) and wholesale market rules (22).

This is according to the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC’s)’s Q2 2023 Edition of The 50 States of Grid Modernization. The 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. 

A total of 539 grid modernisation actions were taken during Q2 2023. California, Texas, Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Jersey took the greatest number of actions during the quarter, followed by Connecticut, North Carolina, and Michigan.

Courtesy: NC Clean Energy Technology Center

The report discusses three trends in grid modernisation actions taken in Q2 2023: (1) states and utilities moving forward on performance-based regulation; (2) growing interest in long-duration battery storage; and (3) utilities including storage capacity additions in integrated resource plans.

“Both legislators and regulators showed a continued interest in integrated resource planning (IRP). Policymakers in several states, including Nevada, Virginia, and Washington considered revisions to the IRP process,” said Emily Apadula, policy analyst at NCCETC. “Meanwhile, policymakers in North Carolina and Oregon considered including other required plans within the IRP itself.”

States taking the greatest number of actions on grid modernisation in Q2 2023 (Courtesy: NC Clean Energy Technology Center)

The report notes five of the top grid modernization actions of Q2 2023:

  • The release of South Carolina’s energy market reform study
  • Maryland lawmakers adopting an energy storage target
  • Connecticut regulators approving a performance-based regulation framework
  • Maine legislators initiating a distribution system operator design study; and
  • The Louisiana Public Service Commission Staff proposing rules for utility grid resilience plans.

“This quarter, the potential prospects of a Southeast regional transmission organization (RTO) saw additional support thanks to a South Carolina study released earlier in the quarter recommending the state — and others in the region — develop a Southeast RTO; or join an existing RTO, among other potential reforms,” observed Justin Lindemann, Policy Analyst at NCCETC.

“This comes months before an early July federal court ruling this year vacated FERC approval of the Southeast Energy Exchange Market — a proposed regional platform to buy and sell power close to energy consumption, supported by utilities representing more than 36 million retail customers.”

Originally published by Sean Wolfe on Power Grid.