Grid Modernization Advisory Council (GMAC)

The Grid Modernization Advisory Council (GMAC) reviews and provides recommendations on Massachusetts investor-owned electric distribution companies’ (EDCs) electric-sector modernization plans (ESMPs). It is an integral part of increasing transparency and stakeholder engagement in the grid planning process. The GMAC provided its recommendations on the EDCs’ first draft ESMPs on November 20, 2023.

GMAC Resources

Overview

Pursuant to G.L. c. 164, §§ 92B-92C, the Grid Modernization Advisory Council (GMAC) is charged with reviewing and providing recommendations to the state’s investor-owned electric distribution companies’ (EDCs) electric-sector modernization plans (ESMPs). The EDCs develop ESMPs for their respective customer service areas. Each ESMP will include, among other items, a summary of all reviewed, under consideration, or previously approved distribution system investments and alternatives, distribution system improvements to increase system reliability and resiliency for weather and disaster-related risks, distribution system improvements to facilitate transportation and building electrification, forecasts considering 5 and 10 year horizons as well as an assessment of demand through 2050. Once the GMAC has reviewed and provided recommendations, the EDCs will make appropriate revisions to their plan and file it with the Department of Public Utilities.  

The GMAC and ESMP system was set in place by “An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind” (Climate Law) in 2022. The Climate Law requires that the state's EDCs prepare the ESMPs to proactively upgrade the distribution system and meet multiple objectives, including:

  • Improve grid reliability, communications, and resiliency;
  • Enable increased, timely adoption of renewable energy and DERs;
  • Promote energy storage and electrification technologies for decarbonization;
  • Prepare for climate-driven impacts on T&D systems;
  • Accommodate transportation and building electrification, and other new loads; and
  • Minimize or mitigate impacts on ratepayers.

Council Members

The Governor appoints GMAC members who serve for five-year terms. The Commissioner of the DOER chairs the GMAC, which is supported by DOER staff. GMAC members, voting and non-voting, represent a wide array of organizations and interests.

Voting members

  • Commissioner Elizabeth Mahony, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, GMAC Chairperson
  • Liz Anderson, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Representing the Attorney General
  • Sarah Cullinan, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Representing the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
  • Larry Chretien, Green Energy Consumers Alliance, Representing low- and middle-income residential consumers         
  • Marybeth Campbell, Worcester Community Action Council, Representing a local agency administering the low-income weatherization program      
  • Kyle Murray, Acadia Center, Representing the environmental advocacy community
  • Kathryn Wright, Barr Foundation, Representing the environmental justice community
  • Alex Worsley, Stack Energy Consulting, Representing the transmission-scale renewable energy industry          
  • Kate Tohme, New Leaf Energy, Representing the distributed generation renewable energy industry
  • Sarah Bresolin Silver, ENGIE North America, Representing the energy storage industry
  • Amy McGuire, Highland Electric Fleets, Representing the electric vehicle industry
  • JS Rancourt, DXS - Direct Expansion Solutions, Representing the building electrification industry
  • Andy Sun, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Representing engineering expertise in interconnecting clean energy
  • Julie Curti, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Representing municipal or regional interests  
  • Jonathan Stout, PowerOptions, Representing large commercial and industrial end-use customers

Non-voting electric distribution company members:

  • Digaunto Chatterjee, Representing Eversource
  • Andrew Schneller, Representing National Grid
  • Kevin Sprague, Representing Unitil

The Council and the ESMPs represent an opportunity for the Commonwealth to increase transparency and broaden stakeholder engagement to the grid planning process. They will support better alignment of distribution system planning and investments with the Commonwealth’s ambitious climate requirements and focus on equitably serving all residents.

During its first meeting on March 31, 2023, the Council adopted by unanimous vote governing documents including by-laws, ground rules, a remote participation policy, and an Executive Committee charter.

If you have any questions regarding the GMAC, please email MA-GMAC@mass.gov.

Contact

Address

100 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02114

Online

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