As feds focus on baseload, grid modernization is sweeping the nation

More than 30 states are considering far-reaching modernization and utility business model reforms, including new initiatives to integrate battery storage into grid planning processes.

As the Trump administration throws its weight behind legacy power assets, states and utilities are busy building the grid of the future.

The Department of Energy’s recent proposed rulemaking at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would provide cost recovery to merchant coal and nuclear plants that keep 90 days of fuel supply onsite. The plan would provide support to many of the oldest generators in the country and observers worry it would unravel wholesale markets if enacted.

But the view from many states is much different. In the third quarter of 2017, there were 184 actions on grid modernization proposed, pending or enacted across 33 states and the District of Columbia, according to a new report. Those findings reflect an ongoing push for modernization nationwide. In Q2, there were 181 grid mod actions in 36 states, up from 148 actions in Q1.

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