The 50 States of Grid Modernization Q1 2021: Grid Modernization Sees Busiest Quarter Yet, Driven by State Legislative Activity

Raleigh, NC – (April 28, 2021) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q1 2021 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 47 states, as well as the District of Columbia, took actions related to grid modernization during Q1 2021 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions relating to energy storage deployment (62), utility business model reforms (31), energy storage interconnection rules (30), smart grid deployment (29), data access policies (27), and distribution system planning (25).

A total of 502 grid modernization actions were taken during Q1 2021. New York, Texas, California, Minnesota, and New Jersey took the greatest number of actions during the quarter, followed by Illinois, Hawaii, and North Carolina.

Q1 2021 Legislative and Regulatory Action on Grid Modernization

The report discusses three trends in grid modernization actions taken in Q1 2021: (1) states focusing on improving grid resilience; (2) state lawmakers considering financial incentives for grid modernization; and (3) states examining permitting, decommissioning, and recycling requirements for energy storage facilities.

“Q1 2021 was the busiest quarter yet for grid modernization,” said Autumn Proudlove, lead author of the report and Senior Policy Program Director at NCCETC. “This increase in activity was largely driven by a jump in proposed legislation related to energy storage and other grid modernization technologies.”

The report notes the top five policy developments of Q1 2021 were:

  • North Carolina regulators approving deferral treatment for Duke Energy’s proposed grid investments;
  • The Maine Public Utilities Commission launching a grid modernization proceeding;
  • National Grid filing advanced metering and grid modernization proposals in Rhode Island;
  • Virginia lawmakers enacting a series of energy storage bills; and
  • Connecticut regulators releasing an energy storage incentive straw proposal.

“Likely due to the February 2021 winter weather events in the central U.S., and the associated electricity supply issues, state lawmakers have been especially focused on bills promoting grid resilience in this year’s legislative sessions,” observed David Sarkisian, Senior Policy Project Manager at NCCETC. “The measures that legislators are calling for in resilience bills are varied and envision roles for many different grid modernization technologies, including advanced meters, demand response programs, energy storage, and microgrids.”

View the 50 States of Grid Modernization 2021 Q1 Update Executive Summary

View and Purchase the 50 States of Grid Modernization 2021 Q1 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

Media Contact: Shannon Helm, NCCETC,