MA DPU 12-76: Investigation by the Department of Public Utilities on its own Motion into Modernization of the Electric Grid

Posted: December 23, 2013 - 18:35 / MA DPU / ESA Filings

On October 2, 2012, the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) issued a Notice of Investigation (“NOI”) into the modernization of the electric grid.1 Modernization of the Electric Grid, D.P.U. 12-76 (2012). The purpose of this investigation is to examine our policies and ensure that electric distribution companies adopt grid modernization technologies and practices to enhance the reliability of electricity service, reduce costs of operating the electric grid, mitigate price increases and volatility for customers, and empower customers to adopt new electricity technologies and better manage their use of electricity.

Pursuant to this NOI, in November 2012, the Department hosted a workshop (“Workshop”) attended by over 125 stakeholders, launching a collective effort to develop a vision of grid modernization. Following the Workshop, we created a stakeholder Working Group (“Working Group”) to: (1) inform the Department’s approach to grid modernization over the short, medium, and long terms; and (2) provide input on the sequence and pace of grid modernization infrastructure investments, including grid-facing and customer-facing technologies.4 From November 2012 through June 2013, stakeholders discussed a full range of issues relating to modernization of the grid. On July 2, 2013, the Working Group submitted a report to the Department that contained information, principles, and recommendations on a wide array of grid modernization issues.

The Department is grateful for the dedication and insights of the Working Group members and other stakeholders. Here, we present a straw proposal for moving forward with modernizing the electric grid, based in large part on the deliberations of the Working Group.

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