The 50 States of Grid Modernization Q3 2021: Technology Deployment Leads Grid Modernization Activity in Q3 2021

Raleigh, N.C. – (October 27, 2021) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q3 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 48 states, as well as the District of Columbia, took actions related to grid modernization during Q3 2021 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions relating to energy storage deployment (74), smart grid deployment (45), utility business model reforms (44), advanced metering infrastructure deployment (38), and distribution system planning (36).

A total of 498 grid modernization actions were taken during Q3 2021. New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, California, Minnesota, and New Jersey took the greatest number of actions during the quarter, followed by Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Hawaii.

Q3 2021 Legislative and Regulatory Action on Grid Modernization

The report discusses three trends in grid modernization actions taken in Q3 2021: (1) technology deployment leading the way for grid modernization activity; (2) state legislatures authorizing performance-based ratemaking, and (3) states addressing interconnection standards for energy storage systems.

“Deployment of grid modernization technologies is ramping up across the country, especially as many states have completed grid modernization investigatory proceedings and developed distribution system planning rules,” noted Autumn Proudlove, lead author of the report and Senior Policy Program Director at NCCETC.

The report notes the top five policy developments of Q3 2021 were:

  • Massachusetts utilities filing grid modernization plans;
  • Illinois lawmakers enacting expansive clean energy legislation, including provisions related to grid planning, performance-based ratemaking, and energy storage;
  • Connecticut regulators approving a new energy storage incentive program;
  • The California Public Utilities Commission approving grid modernization investments proposed by Southern California Edison; and
  • Multiple Michigan utilities filing distribution system investment plans.

“While energy storage action continues to expand, activity related to advanced metering infrastructure and other smart grid technologies has also increased,” said David Sarkisian, Senior Policy Project Manager at NCCETC. “Both utilities and policymakers are placing more emphasis on making sure that the various grid modernization tools, including technologies, planning processes, rate designs, and incentives, are deployed in a complementary fashion, resulting in many expansive dockets and bills that address several topics at once.”

View the 50 States of Grid Modernization 2021 Q3 Update Executive Summary

View and Purchase the 50 States of Grid Modernization 2021 Q3 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