NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: The cutting edge in Grid Modernization

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    Wednesday, June 06, 2018

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: The cutting edge in Grid Modernization

    As grid modernization accelerates, which states are in the lead, and why? California, Illinois and Texas are at the top, according to the latest GridWise survey, with Rhode Island, Colorado and Washington showing the biggest improvement over the prior ranking.

    Herman K. Trabish, Dec. 5, 2017 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: Grid Modernization is accelerating even faster than this piece foresaw. Policy activity jumped 75% in Q1 2018.

    Committed and proposed expenditures to modernize the nation’s grid are accelerating into the billions across the country, with no sign of a slowdown in sight. The grid's vulnerability to increasingly extreme weather and its consequences is apparent to everybody, and it must be strengthened, Centerpoint Energy CEO Scott Prochazka said. "Electricity is about 5% of GDP, but it is the first 5% because reliable energy supports every other aspect of the economy," he noted. In Texas’s response to recent hurricanes, “other states can see the value of having grid modernization in place before it is needed,” Prochazka said.“Modernizing the grid to increase customer choice, expand renewables and distributed generation integration, and improve resilience is not an option, it is a requirement,” he said.

    Beyond Texas, Illinois utilities plan to invest $3.2 billion to meet obligations of recent legislation. In Massachusetts, a National Grid proposal could cost $1.275 billion over 10 years and an Eversource proposal would invest at least $400 million. In Montana, Northwestern Energy has spent $350 million over the last 7 years and is planning another $30 million in its South Dakota and Nebraska territories. Five disparate states ranked highest for state policy, customer engagement strategies, and deployment of advanced operations technologies, according to the newest Grid Modernization Index from the GridWise Alliance. California, Illinois, Texas, Maryland and Oregon are showing the way, but the latest index shows more states are doing better on grid modernization than ever… click here for more

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