March 9, 2016

Grid Modernization Project Concepts Submitted

As a 2015 law requires, Connecticut’s two electric distribution companies have submitted draft proposals to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for a pilot program to build, own, or operate grid-side system enhancements and investigate how to integrate distributed energy resources (DER) into the electric distribution system. (PA 15-5, June Special Session (§§ 102 & 103) (see the public act summary here.))

Eversource’s draft proposal describes eight potential project concepts, including (1) deploying utility-owned energy storage systems to support intermittent DER and (2) developing online mapping and other tools aggregating information on existing and future DER projects. UI’s draft proposal describes five potential project concepts, some of which are similar to Eversource’s proposal. Concepts include (1) forecasting solar adoption to identify opportunities to defer distribution capacity investments and (2) localized DER targeting (i.e., integrating DERs into grid planning and operations).

DEEP accepted public comment on the draft proposals through March 1, 2016. According to Eversource, as quoted in the New Haven Register, if the company receives approval from DEEP and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, projects could begin operating in late 2017.