Creating integrated distribution grids – one state at a time

The More Than Smart Framework is a top-down planning framework for state PUC’s that integrates many disparate technology, rate and design proceedings into a unified planning process. MTS has been in the vanguard  in helping the most progressive states create a new integrated distribution grid framework that expedites the retirement of dirty electric power plants, enables more clean DERs, empowers local communities and customers, and builds new businesses in their state.  MTS is deepening its services with a handful of states to help Commissions enable and upgrade distribution grids around the country.

Each state has its own nuances regarding how electric utilities are regulated and how DERs fit into their grid planning programs.  However, there is one commonality among all states’ planning for increased DER: most DER growth is occurring on the low-voltage distribution grid where there are no system-wide planning methods in place to enable and grow these technologies. Without a plan or framework in place, DERs are often left undervalued, perceived as unable to compete with large, centralized power plants, and unable to provide valuable services to wanting customers. With the rapidly growing DER industry every state either needs or will need a distribution grid upgrade over the next 5-10 years.

MTS is uniquely placed to guide state commissioners in developing distribution grid plans due to our proven MTS Framework, its track record in California and other states, and its team of experts. In fact, discussions with other industry, government and nonprofit stakeholders initiating or running distribution grid planning efforts mention MTS has been able to bring key stakeholders together to develop a framework that is actionable, politically feasible, and based on science and engineering rather than politics.

Featured Video: Regulatory Evolution to Enable Customer Benefits from a more Distributed System

Moderator: Jeff St. John, Greentech Media
Commissioner Michael Picker, California PUC
Commissioner Lorraine Akiba, Hawaii PUC
Rudy Stegemoeller, NY Department of Public Service
Gavin Purchas, Environmental Defense Fund

This panel, from the October 2014 Conference, discusses the current regulatory changes occurring in New York, Hawaii, California and around the country and what lessons can be learned around scenario planning with stakeholders, investing in “low lying” plug and play DER technologies and enabling more energy balancing authority responsibilities with DSO’s.