Top 10 smart grid states revealed

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By: SGN Staff

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Quick Take: The smart grid's leading trade association (and its affiliated non-profit) have ranked the 50 U.S. states for their grid modernization efforts.

You can read the release below, but for even more insights, turn to the "context document" on Page 2 for interesting revelations on which policies truly promote a smart grid. You won't be surprised to learn that states with smart meters score higher. But you may be surprised by some of the other correlations.

 

Click on the link included in the press release below to get all the details. But to spare you the suspense, here are the top 10:

1.     California

2.     Texas (a virtual tie for number one)

3.     Maryland

4.     Delaware

5.     Pennsylvania

6.     Arizona

7.     District of Columbia

8.     Ohio

9.     Nevada

10.  Illinois

 - By Jesse Berst

 

GridWise Alliance and Smart Grid Policy Center release Grid Modernization Index

 

Washington D.C. – July 22, 2013 – The GridWise® Alliance and the Smart Grid Policy Center, yesterday announced the release of the first Grid Modernization Index (GMI). The GMI evaluates and ranks states based on their progress in modernizing their electric systems with smart grid technologies. The announcement was made at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Summer Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

 

The GMI applies a clearly defined set of criteria to evaluate the progress of state grid modernization efforts in three key areas: policy, customer engagement and grid operations. The report highlights the 15 states that scored the highest. California and Texas tied for the highest overall score, followed by Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Arizona, the District of Columbia, Ohio, Nevada, Illinois, Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, Vermont and Maine complete the top fifteen.

 

“The U.S. economy is dependent on a secure, reliable and resilient electric grid. Modernizing America’s electric grid is vital to ensuring that our electric system will be able to meet the demands of our digital society,” said Becky Harrison, CEO of the GridWise Alliance. “If the U.S. is to achieve a modernized grid, the states will play a major role regarding how, and at what pace, this transition will occur. This makes the information and analysis contained in the GMI of particular interest.”

Report Title: 2013 Grid Modernization Index

 

Summary: The U.S. economy is increasingly dependent on an affordable, secure, reliable, and resilient electric grid. Modernizing America’s electric grid is vital to ensuring that our electric system will be able to meet the demands of our digital society. If the U.S. is to achieve a modernized grid, state and federal energy policies will be needed to facilitate this process. The GridWise Alliance (GWA) and Smart Grid Policy Center (SGPC) have created the first ranking of states, based on grid modernization policies and activities, entitled the “Grid Modernization Index” (GMI). The purpose of this GMI is to evaluate and communicate the status of electric grid modernization in the United States. It explains some of the relationships or connections between state policies and regulations, customer engagement, and utility investments in the modernization of the grid, given variations in state authorities, market structures, and business models.

 

The 2013 GMI survey results and subsequent analysis reveal the following key observations:

• GMI scores for states that have retail choice, belong to Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) or Independent System Operators (ISOs), and have renewable portfolio standards all showed high positive correlations, indicating is a relationship exists between these federal and state policies and greater investments in grid modernization.

 

• Analysis shows a positive correlation between the state policy component scores and grid operations component scores, but the correlation is not statistically significant for the top fifteen states.

 

• Analysis shows a high positive and statistically significant correlation between states that received ARRA Smart Grid Investment Grants and the scoring across all three components (i.e., policy, customer engagement and grid operations) of the GMI.

 

• No correlation was found between electricity end use prices in any customer segment and the GMI scores, indicating that the price of electricity is not a primary driver for grid modernization.

 

• The states that scored higher overall in the GMI also demonstrate higher scores in addressing cybersecurity and data privacy than other states. This could be driven either by the utilities themselves or by the state as a whole.

 

• States that scored higher overall also have higher scores in engaging customers, e.g., by educating them, as well as by offering them products and services, including more dynamic pricing options.

 

• States that scored higher overall also have deployed more sensors and advanced modeling tools for both transmission and distribution grids.

 

• The fifteen highest scoring states all have deployed smart meters to their residential and small commercial customers to some extent. Ten of these fifteen states have installed smart meters in place for at least 60 percent of their consumers.

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