NECEC, AEE Institute Commend Rhode Island for Comprehensive Recommendations to Transform Rhode Island’s Power Sector

Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) and Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEE Institute) applaud the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, Division of Public Utilities and Carriers and Public Utilities Commission, which this week jointly filed a comprehensive report addressing key steps Rhode Island must undertake to modernize its electricity system.

The Rhode Island Power Sector Transformation (PST) report is the result of eight months of work led by the three state agencies, in coordination with numerous local stakeholders, national experts, clean energy companies and Rhode Island’s investor-owned utility, National Grid.  The report was requested by Governor Gina M. Raimondo on March 2 as part of an initiative to modernize Rhode Island’s electricity system to control costs, give customers more energy choices and information, and build a more flexible grid to integrate clean energy generation — all to benefit Rhode Island’s residents and businesses.

“Taking advantage of the Ocean State’s small size and predominant single utility, Rhode Island’s Power Sector Transformation Initiative is a unique opportunity to develop a statewide ‘pilot’ of a new regulatory framework and utility business model that partners with independent clean energy technology companies and customers to foster innovation and catapult the state to the lead in the transition to a 21st century electricity system,” said Janet Gail Besser, Executive Vice President of the Northeast Clean Energy Council. “NECEC looks forward to continuing to work with the state agencies and other stakeholders to make the transformation of Rhode Island’s electricity system a reality.”  

"We applaud Rhode Island for undertaking this modernization effort to create an energy system that will stimulate innovation, integrate advanced technologies and meet the changing expectations of consumers and society," said Lisa Frantzis, Senior Vice President for strategy at national business group, Advanced Energy Economy. "The recommendations in today's report are a big step forward in realigning the role of the utility and transforming how customers interact with their energy providers. This unlocks the value that private advanced energy companies bring to the market and will drive Rhode Island towards a stronger, more flexible, and resilient grid."

NECEC and AEE Institute commend the agencies for making the following key recommendations, among others:

Utility Business Model

  • Moving away from the old model of utility compensation based on capital investment to a performance-based model that aligns utility incentives with customer demands and public policy objectives for clean energy, economic development and environmental benefits.

Grid Connectivity and Meter Functionality

  • Emphasizing that advanced metering is needed now to take advantage of the opportunities for outage prevention, faster restoration, more efficient use of the distribution system and enhanced customer choices of pricing options, energy efficiency and renewable services.  

Distribution System Planning

  • Making distribution system planning transparent to enable stakeholder input and customer and independent third-party solutions to system needs, recognizing that access to system and customer data - with appropriate security and privacy protections - is necessary to make this possible.  

Beneficial Electrification

  • Pursuing the benefits of electric vehicles and heating (thermal) electrification to reduce stress on the distribution system and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as creating new business opportunities for providers and innovative new services for customers.

NECEC is the premier voice of businesses building a world-class clean energy hub in the Northeast, helping clean energy companies start, scale and succeed with our unique business, innovation and policy leadership. NECEC includes the Northeast Clean Energy Council (a nonprofit business member organization), and NECEC Institute (a nonprofit focused on industry research, innovation, policy development and communications initiatives). NECEC brings together business leaders and key stakeholders to engage in influential policy discussions and business initiatives while building connections that propel the clean energy industry forward.

About Advanced Energy Economy and AEE Institute
The Advanced Energy Economy Institute is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the public benefits and opportunities of advanced energy. AEE Institute provides critical data to drive the policy discussion on key issues through commissioned research and reports, data aggregation and analytic tools. AEE Institute also provides a forum where leaders can address energy challenges and opportunities facing the United States. AEE Institute is affiliated with Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a 501(c)(6) business association, whose purpose is to advance and promote the common business interests of its members and the advanced energy industry as a whole. AEE and its State and Regional Partner organizations are active in 27 states across the country, representing more than 1,000 companies and organizations in the advanced energy industry. Visit AEE Institute here and AEE here.

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