State policymakers, regulatory agencies, and regional planning organizations play a critical role in shaping both the direction and pace of grid modernization, but many state regulatory agencies are hard pressed to address the complex issues related to grid modernization and the deployment of distributed energy and renewable resources. Thus, the demand for objective technical assistance and information on grid modernization is high and likely to increase.
Research in this technical area falls under four main activities with related goals.
Activity 1: Provide Technical Assistance to States and Tribal Governments
Goal: Provide independent and unbiased technical assistance to state and tribal policymakers on existing and emerging issues in the electricity sector as related to grid modernization.
Activity 2: Support Regional Planning and Reliability Organizations
Goal: Provide technical expertise to support the integration of new technologies into the grid and provide unbiased information, analyses, tools, and resources that help regional planning and reliability organizations develop their capabilities to address key grid modernization issues.
Activity 3: Develop Methods and Resources for Assessing Grid Modernization: Emerging Technologies, Valuation, and Markets
Goal: Provide analyses, case studies, and tool development for decision makers to facilitate stakeholder engagement and address the challenges posed by increasing deployment of emerging technologies on the electric grid, particularly more distributed energy resources. This will reduce the risks and better inform investment decisions regarding emerging technologies enabled by grid modernization.
Activity 4: Conduct Research on Future Electric Utility Regulations
Goal: Provide analysis and modeling tools and technical assistance to state regulators, utilities, and industry stakeholders to support analyses of key issues facing state public utility commissions (PUCs) related to new business models for electric utilities.