The 50 States of Grid Modernization Q4 2017 Report available now

39 States and D.C. Took Grid Modernization Actions in 2017

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Raleigh, NC – (January 31, 2018) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its 2017 annual review and Q4 2017 update edition of The 50 States of Grid Modernization. The quarterly series provides insights on state regulatory and legislative discussions and actions on grid modernization, utility business model and rate reforms, energy storage, microgrids, and demand response.

Key Grid Modernization Actions in 2017

The report finds that 39 states and the District of Columbia took some type of action on grid modernization during 2017 (see figure below). Specifically, the report finds that:

  • 63 state or utility proposals in 29 states to implement demand response programs or deploy advanced metering infrastructure, smart grid technologies, microgrids, or energy storage were pending or decided.
  • 26 states plus D.C. considered or enacted changes to policies related to grid modernization, including energy storage targets and clean peak standards.
  • 24 states plus D.C. took action to study or investigate grid modernization, energy storage, demand response, or rate reform.
  • 18 states plus 5 regional transmission organizations considered changes to utility planning processes or rules enabling market access.
  • 17 states plus D.C. took action related to utility business model or rate reforms.
  • 14 states considered adopting new incentives or making changes to existing incentives for energy storage and microgrids.
2017 Legislative and Regulatory Action on Grid Modernization


2017 Legislative and Regulatory Action on Grid Modernization
“States made huge strides toward modernizing the electric grid in 2017,” said Autumn Proudlove, lead author of the report and Manager of Policy Research at NCCETC. “While grid modernization is becoming a common goal across the country, each state is defining grid modernization differently and taking a unique approach.”

Of the 39 states taking action on grid modernization during the quarter, at least 31 took actions specifically related to energy storage policies and deployment. Overall, the most common actions of the year related to energy storage deployment, followed by AMI deployment, smart grid deployment, time-varying rates, and grid modernization investigations.

A total of 288 state and utility-level actions related to grid modernization were proposed, pending, or enacted in 2017. The report notes the top ten most active states, or states making the most impactful actions were: (1) New York, (2) California, (3) Rhode Island, (4) Hawaii, (5) Maryland, (6) Massachusetts, (7) Michigan, (8) Nevada, (9) Vermont, and (10) Arizona. North Carolina received an honorable mention for its grid modernization activities. The report also notes top grid modernization trends of 2017:

  • States taking diverse approaches to grid modernization;
  • States and utilities gathering information through studies and pilot projects;
  • Energy storage taking focus in a wide variety of state actions;
  • States taking comprehensive and coordinated approaches to grid modernization;
  • Examining how energy storage is evaluated as part of the integrated resource planning process;
  • Rate reforms centering on time-varying rates;
  • Questions emerging over utility and third-party technology ownership; and
  • Grid modernization investment costs are often a point of contention among stakeholders.

“States and utilities took significant interest in energy storage in 2017, with at least 31 states addressing storage during the year,” noted Achyut Shrestha, Senior Policy Analyst at NCCETC. “This action is taking many different forms, from undertaking studies and pilot projects to establishing procurement targets and amending resource planning rules.”

In Q4 2017, 35 states and D.C. took some type of action on grid modernization. A total of 196 actions were tracked in Q4, with the most common action being energy storage deployment.

Media Contact: Shannon Helm, Communications Director, 919-423-8340