NECEC Statement on MA Utilities Grid Mod Filings
NECEC (The New England Clean Energy Council) is pleased to see the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Grid Modernization Proceeding move forward with the filing this week of 10-year Grid Modernization Plans by the Massachusetts Investor Owned Utilities.
"Grid modernization is an opportunity for Massachusetts to become a leader in integrating renewable and clean distributed resources, optimizing demand, making grid infrastructure more efficient, accelerating innovations that provide reliability and reducing costs for Massachusetts customers," said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. "We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Massachusetts’ utilities to ensure that the clean energy industry is engaged and a resource as the plans are refined and deployed.”
The DPU issued its final Grid Modernization Order on June 12, 2014, which required each utility in Massachusetts to develop and implement a 10-year grid modernization plan. These plans, filed on August 19, can be found here.
NECEC played a key role in Massachusetts’ grid modernization proceeding by leading a broad range of clean energy companies and organizations, environmental advocates and consumer representatives known as the “Clean Energy Caucus” to recommend how utilities, clean energy companies and other players in the energy market can advance grid modernization to integrate and leverage new clean energy technologies and models to benefit the state’s energy users. Additionally, NECEC, along with its partners Advanced Energy Economy and Alliance for Clean Energy New York, has been deeply engaged in the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding, New York’s grid modernization initiative, which seeks to transform the way electricity is distributed and used in New York.
Drawing on NECECʼs work on the Massachusetts Grid Modernization Steering Committee and other grid modernization efforts in the Northeast, NECEC published the white paper, Leading the Next Era of Electricity Innovation, which examines the benefits of grid modernization and a 21st century electricity system and the policy and regulatory framework needed to advance them. The report provides recommendations in four key areas:
- Planning to create a platform for an increasingly diverse and distributed electricity system
- A regulatory framework that is forward-looking and supports the evolution of utility business models
- How customers are charged for products and services they use, as well as compensate them for value they provide to the system
- Encouragement for utilities to innovate and partner with grid users and third parties to deliver improved performance.
Earlier this summer, NECEC’s Strategic Partner Network (SPN) convened 50 experts across the energy and electricity sectors with expertise in utility systems, new technologies, R&D, investment, business development, policy, distributed energy resources, efficiency, and other relevant areas for the first ever Grid Modernization Innovation Summit with the three Massachusetts investor owned utilities (Eversource Energy, National Grid and Unitil.) The Massachusetts utilities sought input and advice from the NECEC SPN and innovation communities on models for increasing innovation, demonstration, and partnering initiatives, an important component of their Grid Modernization plans. The summary of this Summit was described by the utilities in their Grid Mod filings this week, and is available here.
About NECEC (New England Clean Energy Council and NECEC Institute)
NECEC is a regional non-profit clean energy business, policy and innovation organization whose mission is to accelerate the region’s clean energy economy to global leadership by building an active community of stakeholders and a world-class cluster of companies. NECEC works with clean energy businesses and entrepreneurs, policymakers and other stakeholders in the clean energy sector in New England and the Northeast through programs and initiatives that advance clean energy markets and help clean energy businesses access the resources they need to grow.