Grid modernization phase II
On July 2, 2020, the DPU announced the opening of a grid modernization phase II. D.P.U. 20-69.
In November and December 2020, stakeholders made presentations on the following topics:
- Advanced metering infrastructure
- Electric vehicles (EV) and embedded metering
- EV charging data collection
- EVs and time varying rates
- Data sharing and billing
2018 grid modernization order
In May 2018, the DPU approved a Grid Modernization Plan for each Massachusetts electric company in Grid Modernization Order. Each approved Grid Modernization Plan includes a 3-year short‑term investment plan and a 5‑year strategic plan.
The DPU pre-authorized grid-facing investment categories, subject to a company‑specific budget cap, for a 3-year investment term from 2018 through 2020. In May 2020, the DPU extended the current 3-year Grid Modernization Plan investment term through 2021 (D.P.U. 15-120-D, D.P.U. 15-121-D, D.P.U. 15-122-D).
The pre-authorized investment categories include:
- distribution automation
- volt/VAR optimization
- advanced distribution management system
- advanced communications infrastructure
Grid modernization annual reports
The 3 electric companies in Massachusetts must file a grid modernization annual report and performance data each year. The reports also include performance metrics that measure the benefits of grid-facing grid modernization investments.
Following the completion of the Grid Modernization Plan investment term, each electric company will file a Grid Modernization Term Report.
Grid modernization evaluation plan and evaluation reports
The DPU required the electric companies to retain an independent consultant to develop an evaluation plan. The evaluation plan studies the deployment of pre-authorized grid modernization investments. The independent consultant will produce an annual evaluation report each year.
Grid modernization annual reconciliation filings
The DPU allows each electric company to recover the costs of eligible pre-authorized grid modernization investments within the budget cap through a grid modernization factor (GMF). These factors are filed annually and will undergo prudence review at the end of the grid modernization term.