NewEnergyNews: Monday Study – The Everywhere Drive To Modernize The Grid

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    Monday, May 16, 2022

    Monday Study – The Everywhere Drive To Modernize The Grid

    The 50 States of Grid Modernization: Q1 2022

    Rebekah de la Mora Brian Lips Vincent Potter Autumn Proudlove David Sarkisian, April 2022 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center)

    Executive Summary

    WHAT IS GRID MODERNIZATION?

    Grid modernization is a broad term, lacking a universally accepted definition. In this report, the authors use the term grid modernization broadly to refer to actions making the electricity system more resilient, responsive, and interactive. Specifically, in this report grid modernization includes legislative and regulatory actions addressing: (1) smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure, (2) utility business model reform, (3) regulatory reform, (4) utility rate reform, (5) energy storage, (6) microgrids, and (7) demand response.

    Q1 2022 GRID MODERNIZATION ACTION

    In the first quarter of 2022, 49 states plus DC took a total of 578 policy and deployment actions related to grid modernization, utility business model and rate reform, energy storage, microgrids, and demand response. Table 1 provides a summary of state and utility actions on these topics. Of the 578 actions catalogued, the most common were related to deployment (128), policies (104), and financial incentives (103).

    TOP 5 GRID MODERNIZATION DEVELOPMENTS OF Q1 2022

    Five of the quarter’s top policy developments are highlighted below.

    Virginia Regulators Approve Dominion Energy’s Grid Transformation Plan

    In January 2022, the Virginia State Corporation Commission approved Dominion Energy’s Phase II Grid Transformation Plan. The $666.5 million plan includes investments in AMI, a customer information platform, a DER management system, intelligent grid devices, fault isolation and service restoration, voltage optimization, and cybersecurity. Dominion has also provided a timeline for system-wide implementation of time-varying rates and an opt-in systemwide peak time rebate program.

    Grid Modernization Roadmap Released in New Mexico

    The New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department released its grid modernization roadmap in January 2022, following a working group process. The roadmap includes a number of consensus recommendations, including investing in AMI, updating interconnection rules and advanced inverter standards, creating a transmission planning group, and strategically deploying energy storage.

    Hawaii PUC Approves Bring Your Own Device Tariff Framework

    The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission issued an order in January 2022, establishing an advanced DER tariff offering, which will be a Bring Your Own Device tariff. The tariff will include three enrollment options – Level 1 will involve participants making certain dispatch commitments, Level 2 will involve the utility controlling dispatch for a predetermined number of events, and Level 3 will involve compensation for system grid services. The details of these tariff options will be addressed further in Phase 2 of the proceeding.

    Maine and New Hampshire Regulators Address Statewide Energy Data Platforms

    The Maine Public Utilities Commission completed its report on the feasibility of a statewide energy data platform during Q1 2022, finding that there is no existing solution that can provide the desired functionality and that the cost and complexity for such a platform would be significant. Meanwhile, New Hampshire regulators approved a design and framework for a statewide energy data platform authorized by 2019 legislation.

    New Jersey Regulators Approve AMI Deployment for Jersey Central Power & Light

    The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities issued an order in February 2022, approving Jersey Central Power & Light’s proposed deployment of AMI throughout its service territory. The utility will install 1.15 million advanced meters, totaling $390 million in capital investment. The decision also specifies that customer AMI usage data belongs to the customer, who may share it with third parties.

    MOST ACTIVE STATES AND SUBTOPICS OF Q1 2022

    The most common types of actions across the country related to energy storage deployment (80), utility business model reforms (51), smart grid deployment (43), advanced metering infrastructure deployment (35), and time-varying rates (30).

    The states taking the greatest number of actions related to grid modernization in Q1 2022 can be seen in Figure 4. New York, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and Minnesota saw the most action during the quarter, followed by Michigan, Hawaii, Washington, Connecticut, and Missouri. Overall, 49 states, plus DC, took actions related to grid modernization in Q1 2022.

    TOP GRID MODERNIZATION TRENDS OF Q1 2022

    States Examining Decommissioning and Recycling of Energy Storage Systems

    State legislatures considered numerous bills during Q1 2022 calling for the examination of decommissioning and recycling processes for energy storage systems. South Carolina lawmakers enacted a bill directing the Department of Health and Environmental Control to develop regulations to manage the decommissioning of solar and energy storage systems in excess of 13 acres. In Virginia, state legislators enacted bills requiring that the State Corporation Commission create a task force to analyze the life cycle of energy facilities including solar, wind, and/or battery storage. The study is to address recycling and salvage opportunities, waste strategies, and decommissioning. Legislation introduced in Tennessee would require a study that addresses end-of-life management for energy storage systems, while a Louisiana bill would establish decommissioning requirements for solar facilities, including those with energy storage.

    Utilities Pursuing Resiliency-As-A-Service Programs

    A growing number of utilities are requesting approval for “resiliency-as-a-service” programs involving customer-sited, utility-owned battery storage. In California, Liberty Utilities filed an application for a customer resiliency program, including a behind-the-meter battery energy storage offering targeting medical baseline, critical infrastructure, and large commercial segments. Liberty Utilities will own and maintain the storage systems, with participants making monthly payments. Xcel Energy filed an application with Colorado regulators to implement a resiliency service program tariff, providing utility-owned battery storage or other resiliency assets to commercial customers. DTE Electric proposed a customer-sited, utility-owned residential and commercial battery storage program in Michigan, and Georgia Power is currently developing a resilience asset service tariff to provide utility-owned distributed energy resources to commercial and industrial customers.

    State Legislators Exploring Financing and Incentives for Resiliency Improvements

    Across the country, state legislators have been considering new incentives and financing opportunities for resiliency improvements, including battery storage and microgrids. Legislation introduced in Louisiana would establish a disaster resiliency and grid stability battery incentive program, while a bill that did not advance in Florida would have created an energy security and disaster resilience pilot focused on solar-plus-storage for critical disaster resilience facilities. A Colorado bill would create a grant program to support microgrids for community resilience, and a bill introduced in California would provide grants to help local governments develop community energy resilience plans. Several states considered bills that would allow resiliency improvements to qualify for property assessed clean energy financing, with bills in Alaska and Pennsylvania advancing through one chamber and bills in Virginia and Wisconsin being signed into law.

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