Creating a modern, resilient energy grid...
"This is going to impact what's happening in our community, not just for the next 5 or 10 years, but for our children and for our grandchildren." Bert Jackson, President Cape Cod Technology Council
"We will all be paying for Grid Modernization and it is important to have the community actively engaged in identifying what we want to see, and how much we want to pay for this." Maggie Downey, Cape Light Compact Administrator
Grid Modernization History
In 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU or Department) opened an investigation into how it should modernize the electric grid, which has remained largely the same over the last century. The investigation culminated in the DPU’s order mandating that each electric distribution company (EDC) file a Grid Modernization Plan (GMP) describing how the EDCs intend to make progress towards the DPU’s grid modernization objectives. Those objectives are:
- Reducing the effects of outages
- Optimizing demand, including reducing system and customer costs
- Integrating distributed resources
- Improving workforce and asset management
The EDCs filed their first GMPs with the Department in August 2015 in dockets D.P.U 15-120 through 15-122. Cape Light Compact held public information meetings in September and October of 2016 to inform the community about the proposals and to receive community input. As a full intervenor to the DPU proceeding, the Compact submitted information requests, testimony, and briefs to ensure that Cape and Vineyard residents and businesses would be able to benefit from grid modernization and that costs were appropriate and fairly allocated. The DPU issued an Order in that docket on May 10, 2018. More information about the Compact’s role in that proceeding can be found here.
Current Grid Modernization Docket
Eversource filed its next GMP in July 2021 in D.P.U. 21-80. The GMP is for the calendar years 2022 through 2025. The filing addresses grid modernization investments aimed at integrating solar and other distributed energy resources, increasing reliability, and maximizing value to customers. It also presents a proposal for Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) investments and an implementation schedule for these investments.
The Compact is a full intervenor in that docket and has submitted information requests and briefs to ensure that customers on the Cape and Vineyard are able to benefit from Eversource’s grid modernization and AMI investments. The Compact’s main focus in this proceeding has been on the proposed AMI investments to ensure that they result in significant customer benefits. This requires municipal aggregations (like the Compact) to be able to access the data provided by those AMI investments to allow for the design and implementation of time varying rates for their customers. Customers need to be provided with meaningful access to their data as well. Eversource’s AMI proposal does not commit to a process for how customers or municipal aggregators (or their suppliers) would be able to access the data from smart meters needed to design and implement time varying rates for customers. Please view the links below to see how the Compact has participated in this docket.
To view all filings in this docket, please go to the DPU File Room website and type in the docket number 21-80.
- Cape Light Compact Petition to Intervene
- Cape Light Compact First Set of Information Requests (view responses in the DPU File Room)
- Cape Light Compact Second Set of Information Requests (view responses in the DPU File Room)
- Cape Light Compact Initial Brief
- Cape Light Compact Reply Brief
What is a Smart Grid?
Watch the video below from the U.S. Department of Energy on what a Smart Grid is.
"Regulators and customers have a role to keep utilities on track. There are three R’s. We need to focus on Renewables. We need to focus on Resilience. We need to focus on Reinvention.” Karl Rábago, Former U.S. Department of Energy Official and Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center