Thursday, January 2, 2014

Massachusettes Energy Grid Reform

How to design IT initiatives; have goals to accomplish other than undertaking IT initiatives.

Monday’s order (PDF) from the state’s Department of Public Utilities will require the state’s big utilities to submit a 10-year grid modernization plan (GMP) in the next six months. Advanced metering will be required as part of that plan -- a significant development in a state which has seen almost no smart meters deployed to date.
That working group came up with a set of concepts (PDF) for changing the cost-recovery mechanisms that guide typical utility investments, which has informed the state’s new smart grid mandate. That includes quantifying a long list of benefits that could come from smart meters, some of which are pretty hard to define:
  1. reduced meter-related operations and maintenance (“O&M”) expenses;
  2. reduced capital expenditures;
  3. theft prevention and revenue protection;
  4. reduced unaccounted-for electricity;
  5. reduced billing inquiries and customer service;
  6. better outage management;
  7. reduced energy consumption from inactive meters;
  8. reduced bad debt expenses;
  9. increased demand response;
  10. increased energy efficiency;
  11. increased use of EVs;
  12. reduced carbon costs; and
  13. the prevention or limitation of outages.
Several other states are asking their utilities to compile similar lists of benefits for their smart grid deployments -- utility AEP’s Ohio’s GridSMART project is one good example. But Massachusetts is different in that it’s asking its utilities to include them as part of the planning process, rather than as additions to smart meter deployments already underway.
Read the entire article at The Energy Collective

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