The 50 States of Grid Modernization: U.S. Grid Modernization Activity Continues to Climb in the Second Quarter of 2019

Raleigh, N.C. – (July 31, 2019) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q2 2019 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.

The report finds that 44 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, took actions related to grid modernization during Q2 2019 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions relating to energy storage deployment, data access policies, distribution system planning, utility business model reforms, and integrated resource planning.

A total of 433 grid modernization actions were taken during Q2 2019, representing a 43% increase over Q2 2018 (302 actions) and a 139% increase over Q2 2017 (181 actions). New York, California, and Massachusetts took the greatest number of actions during the quarter, followed by Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, and New Hampshire.

Q2 2019 Legislative and Regulatory Action on Grid Modernization

The report discusses three trends in grid modernization actions taken in Q2 2019: (1) states developing criteria for evaluating non-wires alternatives, (2) policymakers and regulators considering next generation renewable portfolio standards, and (3) states analyzing the costs and benefits of battery storage.

“Grid modernization activity continues to increase across the country, with states giving particular attention to grid planning processes,” noted Autumn Proudlove, lead author of the report and Senior Manager of Policy Research at NCCETC. “States are revising integrated resource planning rules, developing distribution system planning requirements, and exploring criteria for evaluating non-wires alternatives.”

The report notes the top five policy developments of Q2 2019 were:

  • Minnesota lawmakers enacting an expansive energy storage bill;
  • The Ohio Supreme Court striking down First Energy’s grid modernization rider;
  • Working groups filing their final recommendations in DC’s grid modernization proceeding;
  • Nevada legislators passing a bill authorizing utility business model reforms; and
  • The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority proposing minigrids and energy storage deployment in its final integrated resource plan.

“Grid modernization is being increasingly incorporated into state renewable and clean energy requirements,” said David Sarkisian, Senior Policy Analyst at NCCETC. “As states and utilities deepen their decarbonization goals, policies are moving beyond simply promoting renewable generation to supporting a broader group of technologies and practices that can help transform the electricity system.”

View the 50 States of Grid Modernization Q2 2019 Executive Summary

View and Purchase the 50 States of Grid Modernization Q2 2019 update FULL Report

View other 50 States Reports – Solar, Grid Modernization and Electric Vehicles


The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, sustainable energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the  Center, visit: Twitter: @NCCleanTech