The 50 States of Grid Modernization Q2 2021: States Explore Market Reforms and Mechanisms to Accelerate Storage and Microgrid Development

Raleigh, NC – (July 28, 2021) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q2 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 Q2 2021 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions relating to energy storage deployment (66), utility business model reforms (40), smart grid deployment (39), distribution system planning (33), and energy storage interconnection rules (31).

A total of 551 grid modernization actions were taken during Q2 2021. Texas, New York, California, Illinois, Minnesota and New Jersey took the greatest number of actions during the quarter, followed by Massachusetts, Maine, Hawaii and North Carolina.

Q2 2021 Legislative and Regulatory Action on Grid Modernization


The report discusses three trends in grid modernization actions taken in Q2 2021: (1) states and utilities examining electricity market reform; (2) lawmakers expanding financing options for customer-sited technologies; and (3) states considering ownership of energy storage and microgrids.

“A clear trend emerging this year has been states exploring electricity market reforms, including joining regional transmission organizations or establishing new markets,” said Autumn Proudlove, lead author of the report and Senior Policy Program Director at NCCETC. “This trend has so far been overwhelming toward wholesale market structures, although some states have been considering the costs and benefits of existing market membership.”

The report notes the top five policy developments of Q2 2021 were:

  • Connecticut and Maine lawmakers adopting energy storage targets;
  • Nevada legislators directing transmission providers to join a regional transmission organization by 2030;
  • California regulators preparing to modernize the grid for a high-DER future;
  • The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approving a microgrid services tariff; and
  • Dominion Energy filing its Phase II Distribution Grid Transformation Plan in Virginia.

“Maine and Connecticut enacted bills creating energy storage targets this quarter, making nine states that have adopted energy storage targets, and a tenth may come later this year as Arizona regulators work to adopt regulations including a distributed storage target,” observed David Sarkisian, Senior Policy Project Manager at NCCETC. “While the states adopting storage targets have so far been concentrated on the coasts, legislators in many states throughout the country have proposed such targets.”

View the 50 States of Grid Modernization 2021 Q2 Update Executive Summary

View and Purchase the 50 States of Grid Modernization 2021 Q2 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