Increasing severe weather events. Increasing plug load. An aging infrastructure. Cyber security concerns. The advance of electric cars. The trend toward more distributed and renewable energy generation. Smart appliances. Smart users. And an increasing focus on energy efficiency in buildings and products. So what will the power grid of the future look like? What will it mean for customers? And who should pay for these upgrades?
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) recently kicked off a Grid Modernization Working Group to examine the policies that will enable the state’s electric distribution companies and their customers to harness the new technologies and best practices of our increasingly dynamic and sophisticated electric system. Admittedly, the electric grid that we live with today was designed for much simpler times.