The structure of the electric system is evolving, and the roles of the state’s electric distribution companies, generators, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, ISO New England, and customers are being restructured, refined, and modernized to capitalize on emerging technologies and shifting consumer demands. The traditional utility model – one in which electricity is centrally generated, transmitted over high voltage power lines, stepped down in voltage, and locally distributed to customers – is facing a new set of challenges and opportunities that could initiate a period of innovation. Grid-side system enhancements have the potential to increase grid flexibility and reliability, better integrate clean, distributed generation into the grid, and increase customer participation with the electric grid.
A “grid-side system enhancement” is defined in section 16-1(a)(50) of the Connecticut General Statutes as “an investment in distribution system infrastructure, technology and systems designed to enable the deployment of distributed energy resources and allow for grid management and system balancing, including, but not limited to, energy storage systems, distribution system automation and controls, intelligent field systems, advanced distribution system metering, and communication and systems that enable two-way power flow.”
Demonstration Projects for Grid-Side System Enhancements
In June 2015, the Connecticut General Assembly passed and Governor Malloy signed into law June Special Session Public Act 15-5
, An Act Implementing Provisions of the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2017, Concerning General Government, Education, Health and Human Services and Bonds of the State.
Section 103 of this Act requires each electric distribution company to submit a proposal or proposals to DEEP for demonstration projects to build, own, or operate grid-side system enhancements, such as energy storage systems, subject to approval by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.
In September 2015, DEEP initiated a proceeding seeking public comment
on establishing priority goals and objectives for the grid-side system enhancements demonstration projects.
Shared Clean Energy Facilities
Additionally in June 2015, the Connecticut General Assembly passed and Governor Malloy signed into law Public Act 15-113
, An Act Establishing a Shared Clean Energy Facility Pilot Program.
This Act requires DEEP to establish a two-year pilot program to support the development of shared clean energy facilities and issue a request for proposals by January 1, 2016.
A “shared clean energy facility” is defined by Section 1(a)(1) of the Act as “a Class I renewable energy source, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, that (A) is served by an electric distribution company, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, (B) is within the same electric distribution company service territory as the individual billing meters for subscriptions, (C) has a nameplate capacity rating of four megawatts or less, and (D) has at least two subscribers.”
Content last updated October 5, 2015