Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) has marked the conclusion of a two-year initiative hosted by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) where Maryland, along with 12 other states, declared its commitment to a more efficient and resilient energy future. Efforts to implement electricity planning innovations that more effectively meet customer needs and state policy goals will be led by the MEA and the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC).
Maryland has been recognized as a leader in grid modernization, ranking third in the most recent GridWise grid modernization index. Transforming the Grid Public Conference 44 (PC44) was initiated by the PSC in 2016 to build on a foundation of existing state policies including the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act and Renewable Portfolio Standard and ensure Maryland ratepayers benefit from grid modernization in a reliable, environmentally-sustainable and cost-effective manner.
PC44 started with five work groups on electric vehicles, energy storage, rate design, competitive markets and customer choice, and interconnection processes. Distribution system planning was named as a potential sixth work group for future consideration.
Building on the knowledge from the Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning, the PSC will consider launching the distribution planning work group, part of the PC44 docket, in order to put the workshop roadmap into practice in Maryland. Last month, the PSC announced that it would convene a technical conference on March 25, 2021 to consider how the findings of the NARUC/NASEO Task Force report align with the objectives of PC44.
The Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning presented findings on how states can lead the way in bringing together utilities and stakeholders to plan the grid of the future, impacting how billions of dollars will be invested on behalf of customers. The U.S. Department of Energy provided key support throughout the initiative.
New, more comprehensive approaches to electricity planning can optimize use of distributed and existing energy resources, avoid unnecessary costs to customers, support state policy priorities, and increase transparency of grid-related investment decisions. The Task Force Roadmaps for Comprehensive Electricity Planning are accompanied by a Blueprint for State Action to support states and stakeholders who were not members of the Task Force in aligning electricity system planning processes in ways that meet their own goals and objectives.
To learn more about the Task Force and access the new resources, visit naruc.org/taskforce.