National Grid Submits Grid Modernization Plan to Mass. DPU

National Grid Submits Grid Modernization Plan to Mass. DPU

Proposal presents four options to update company's electricity system in Mass.
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.@nationalgridus today starts a conversation w/Mass #DPU about more benefits, value for electric customers

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 4:45pm

CAMPAIGN: Energy Efficiency

CONTENT: Press Release

WALTHAM, MA., August 19, 2015 /3BL Media/ – National Grid today submitted its grid modernization proposal to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities that represents the start of a conversation about how Massachusetts customers would benefit from a modern and more resilient electric grid.

Last summer, the DPU directed the state’s electric utilities to submit grid modernization plans that will require investments in communications, metering, automation of the distribution system and voltage management. Under its proposal, National Grid submitted four alternatives for the DPU to consider. The company’s filing is the culmination of nearly a year of research, planning, and stakeholder engagement, and is contingent on DPU review and approval.

“We have provided a proposal for the DPU to consider as the state strives to meet its energy goals,” said Peter Zschokke, National Grid’s director of Regulatory Strategy. “We have learned much about grid modernization through our Smart Energy Solutions pilot program in Worcester, and we welcome the opportunity to discuss with the department, customers and stakeholders whether these advanced technologies would provide sufficient value for customers to justify the costs.”

National Grid’s filing allows the DPU, stakeholders and customers to consider the benefits and costs from grid modernization plans with various scale, scope and technology choices. The proposal is informed by lessons learned from National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions program, the largest and most comprehensive smart grid deployment in Massachusetts, with nearly 15,000 participants.

National Grid’s proposal could provide benefits to customers that include:

  • Two-way exchange of information between the customer and the company
  • New technology and two-way communications devices on power lines and associated electrical equipment, which will help National Grid more quickly identify the location and cause of power outages, and help automatically return customers to service through use of advanced technologies
  • New energy management technologies, web based applications and other tools that would provide the opportunity for National Grid’s customers to improve their management of energy use, and potentially save money
  • The ability to provide time-varying rates, or time-of-use rates, which give customers the opportunity to lower their electric bills by using power when it is least expensive
  • The potential to interconnect more renewable energy sources
  • Voltage management technologies that help evenly distribute power across a distribution feeder with the additional potential to save energy
  • New workforce skills, which can result in new opportunities for employees and job creation in Massachusetts

The company’s proposals result in a wide range of investment levels over five years, from $225 million to $830 million. While the plan is contingent on DPU approval, the company estimates that these investments could add between 0.25 percent and 1 percent to a typical residential customer’s monthly electric bill, every year for five years.

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.

Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities' long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization).

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