The 50 States of Grid Modernization Q3 2023: States Consider RTO Participation and Virtual Power Plants During Q3 2023

Raleigh, NC – (October 26, 2023) The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) released its Q3 2023 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 all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, took actions related to grid modernization during Q3 2023 (see figure below), with the greatest number of actions relating to energy storage deployment (57), utility business model reforms (42), distribution system planning (31), interconnection rules (25), and smart grid deployment (25).

A total of 468 grid modernization actions were taken during Q3 2023. New York, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, and New Jersey took the greatest number of actions during the quarter, followed by Connecticut, North Carolina, Hawaii, Maine, and New Hampshire.

Q3 2023 Legislative and Regulatory Action on Grid Modernization

The report discusses three trends in grid modernization actions taken in Q3 2023: (1) states examining the costs and benefits of regional transmission organization (RTO) participation (2) states and utilities enabling virtual power plants with distributed energy resource aggregation, and (3) states taking a coordinated approach to distribution grid investment planning.

“As electric sector emission reduction targets are adopted, states are taking steps to make sure that grid planning processes support emission reduction goals,” noted David Sarkisian, Principal Policy Analyst at NCCETC. “Emission reduction is becoming a key element of generation and distribution system planning, alongside reliability and least-cost resource procurement.”

The report notes the top five policy developments of Q3 2023 were:

  • A federal appeals court rescinding approval of the Southeast Energy Exchange Market (SEEM);
  • The California Energy Commission approving incentives for virtual power plants;
  • Michigan utilities filing their five-year distribution system plans;
  • Virginia regulators approving Dominion Energy’s grid modernization investments; and
  • Massachusetts utilities submitting draft electric sector modernization plans.

“Over the past few years, the number of states requiring utility distribution system plans has grown, and new planning processes are either beginning to take shape or are seeing utilities submit the first of many future drafts,” observed Justin Lindemann, Policy Analyst at NCCETC. “Louisiana’s utilities will soon have to present their grid resilience plans as final proposed rules were filed this quarter awaiting approval, while utilities in Massachusetts submitted their inaugural electric-sector modernization plan drafts in response to new requirements enacted last year.”

View the 50 States of Grid Modernization 2023 Q3 Quarterly Report Executive Summary

View and Purchase the 50 States of Grid Modernization 2023 Q3 Update FULL Report

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


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,