Welcome to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities’ Grid Modernization Homepage. The materials posted here are intended to help users understand the grid modernization opportunities that are under consideration by the Commonwealth.
Our vision of the grid of the future includes enhanced reliability and resiliency in the face of increasingly extreme weather, and much more efficient operation. It will empower customers with greater choices for managing and using energy, and opportunities for reducing electricity costs while unleashing clean energy development. The grid of the future will be able to flexibly support emerging energy technologies, from large-scale renewables, to electric vehicles, to electric storage, to innovations in devices and processes that at this point we can only imagine.
The path to achieve this vision cost-effectively and through thoughtful deliberation was begun in October 2012, when the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) issued a Notice of Investigation (“NOI”) into the modernization of the electric grid. From November 2012 through June 2013, stakeholders discussed grid-facing and customer-facing issues relating to the modernization of the grid. On July 2, 2013, the stakeholders submitted a final report to the Department with their recommendations.
On December 23, 2013 the Department issued an Order (12-76-A) containing a straw proposal for moving forward with modernizing the electric grid, based in large part on the deliberations of the Working Group.
In our proposal, the Department establishes four grid modernization objectives: (1) to reduce the effects of outages; (2) to optimize demand, which includes reducing system and customer costs; (3) to integrate distributed resources; and (4) to improve workforce and asset management. The Department proposes to require each electric distribution company to develop and submit to the Department a ten-year strategic grid modernization plan (“GMP”) within six months of a final Order in this proceeding. The first GMP must include a plan for investing in infrastructure for advanced metering functionality.
Initial written comments on the Straw Proposal must be filed no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Friday, January 17, 2014. At this time, the Department anticipates holding hearings during the week of Monday, February 24, 2014 to Friday, February 28, 2014, and organizing panels to provide comments at these hearings. Persons who wish to participate on a panel must express their interest to the Department, in writing, no later than Friday, January 17, 2014. Reply comments may be submitted in writing, and may not exceed 15 pages in length. Reply comments are due no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Friday, March 21, 2014. After reviewing the reply comments, the Department will determine the appropriate next steps in this proceeding.
To learn more about the grid modernization stakeholder process that was conducted from November 2012 through June 2013, please visit the facilitator’s website.
This information is provided by the Department of Public Utilities.