Culminating a yearlong effort into grid modernization, today SEIA issued the fifth and final paper in its white paper series, “Improving Opportunities for Solar Through Grid Modernization.” Through this series, SEIA staff has offered thorough analyses on the expanding role distributed energy resources (DER) will have in our nation’s electricity mix.
The paper released today, “DER and the Non-Wires Solutions Opportunity,” provides an in-depth look at the ways in which utilities are deferring traditional distribution grid investments with investments in DER.
“Today, customers are increasingly seeking more control of their own energy, and with the rapidly falling cost of solar power, utilities are realizing the traditional business model needs to change,” said Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state affairs. “By strategically modernizing the electric grid, distributed energy resources like solar can flourish and provide reliable, low-cost power and grid services to consumers and utilities alike.”
In this white paper, SEIA staff outline how two leading states have successfully advanced non-wires solutions to provide power and meet system needs where and when they are needed most. The paper also delves into the need to improve the grid planning process and tailor DER deployment mechanisms to capture the opportunity presented by non-wires solutions.
“This report brings an important aspect of grid modernization to the forefront—how distributed energy resources can provide a technical solution for grid management issues and save ratepayers money,” said Stephen Kalland, executive director of the NC Clean Energy Technology Center. “Most importantly, the report discusses how rate design can support these solutions, how utility business models must be modernized to fairly evaluate non-wires solutions, and how planning processes should be evolved to consider these solutions.”
“As the cost of new technologies continues to decline, and the power industry becomes increasingly sophisticated, opportunities are growing for non-wires solutions to deliver economic, environmental and individual consumer benefits,” said Tanuj Deora, executive vice president and chief content officer of the Smart Electric Power Alliance. “SEIA’s white paper identifies the potential to accelerate evaluation and deployment of these alternatives, as well as the need to further develop industry best practices for enhanced system planning, and the market mechanisms to make non-wires solutions a reality.”
To learn more about SEIA’s grid modernization white paper series and read each of the installments, go to: http://www2.seia.org/e/139231/gridmod/2b55qw/237668178.
News item from SEIA