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The grid needs an upgrade

Built during the last century, the United States electric grid is in need of an update to account for changes in how Americans get their electricity. A white paper being issued by Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today, is the first in a series that will detail the steps necessary to properly upgrade our power infrastructure.

Today’s white paper, New Opportunities for Solar Through Grid Modernization, explores how California and New York have been working on policies that encourage the use of clean distributed energy resources, while allowing ratepayers to save money.

“Our goal is to help inform the conversation so distributed energy technologies can continue to flourish,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “Consumers deserve reliable, low-cost, clean power and this is easily achievable by tackling grid modernization correctly.”

In the white paper, SEIA staff describe the policy and political landscape in California and New York, and point out that while there has been progress, even these states are in the “walking phase” of grid modernization. The paper summarizes the ways in which regulators are currently addressing grid modernization, and suggests the need for better information from utilities and rate designs that allow for more distributed energy resources.

The white paper series will continue with quarterly papers over the next year digging deeper into:

  • Updating utility system planning
  • Updating tariffs/compensation framework
  • Identifying alternatives to traditional utility investments
  • Updating the functionality of the grid itself

Labels: utility,grid,SEIA,modernization,infrastructure

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