PURA: Grid Modernization

Grid Modernization

PURA has several proceedings underway relating to grid modernization and the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs).  These include:
Through these proceedings, PURA is, among other things, investigating the integration of distributed energy resources; modernizing data sensing, analytics, control and communications capabilities; considering alternatives to traditional capacity solutions; and implementing appropriate rate design to optimize system benefits.  This webpage provides a guide to relevant proceedings and information about how to participate

In December 2017, PURA initiated its Docket No. 17-12-03, PURA Investigation into Distribution System Planning of the Electric Distribution Companies.   In this uncontested proceeding, PURA is examining the distribution system planning (DSP) practices of the electric distribution companies (EDCs), focusing on three topics:
  • What are the key cost drivers associated with maintaining and modernizing the distribution system?
  • To what extent are customer, electric demand and consumption patterns changing in the near-term and long-term, and how can distribution system planning efforts best respond to changing customer needs?
  • What are the technical capabilities of the EDCs’ current distribution systems, and what functionality is desirable to optimize the grid of the future?
The goal of this investigation is to consider whether any new or modified planning objectives, metrics, solutions, performance incentives, oversight and/or procurement mechanisms should be implemented, in light of the evolving nature of the electric grid.  View a schedule of meetings in this docket.  Members of the public are encouraged to participate in this proceeding, and do not need to request participant status to attend meetings and ask questions.  Interested stakeholders may sign up to receive email updates on this proceeding

As part of Docket No. 17-12-03, PURA is convening a series of webinars to identify and explore lessons learned from regulatory and planning models in other jurisdictions and to facilitate stakeholder engagement.  Each webinar will feature programs, projects, or policies related to the topics above, including, but not limited to: innovative technologies, non-wires alternatives, demand-side management and utility planning approaches.  The webinars are free and open to the public.  Interested stakeholders may submit suggestions for future webinar topics and/or speakers through correspondence in the docket.  Presentations are for informational purposes and do not imply PURA endorsement of particular programs or approaches.  Register for upcoming webinars, and access the recordings of past webinars.

Public Act 15-5 authorized Connecticut’s two electric distribution utilities to develop pilot programs for grid-side system enhancements to integrate distributed energy resources (DERs).  To date, PURA has approved the following pilot programs proposed by United Illuminating (UI) and Eversource Energy (Eversource):
  • Docket No. 17-06-03, Application for Review of The United Illuminating Company’s Distributed Energy Resource Integration Plan
    On December 7, 2017, PURA approved two of the United Illuminating Company’s three grid-side system enhancement pilot program proposals for hosting capacity and analysis mapping, and DERs and load forecasting.  UI shall provide a report on the DER and load forecasting program for 2018 no later than February 28, 2019, and no later than March 31, 2020, UI shall provide a report on the completed hosting capacity program.
    On January 24, 2018, PURA approved, with modifications, UI’s localized targeting of distributed energy resources.  The localized targeting project is intended to encourage participation in existing state DER programs and adoption of distributed generation equipped with energy storage-ready advanced inverters for the primary purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of a localized targeting approach to defer a distribution capacity upgrade.  UI shall submit a final report on the results of the localized targeting program no later than December 31, 2020.
  • Docket No. 17-06-02, PURA Review of The Connecticut Light and Power Company’s dba Eversource Energy Distributed Energy Resources Proposals
    On September 19, 2017 PURA approved Eversource’s DER customer portal and management system, and DER hosting capacity map proposals.  No later than March 30, 2018, and annually thereafter, Eversource shall provide a report on the utilization of the DER portal, and a report on its implementation of the DER hosting capacity map.
  • Docket No. 17-11-13, PURA Review of The United Illuminating Company’s Distributed Energy Resource Integration Plan – Grid Connected Battery Storage Proposal
    On November 13, 2017, UI submitted an application for PURA to approve its grid-connected battery storage proposal.  In light of the evolving nature of policies pertaining to electric storage resources at both the state and federal level, on June 19, 2018, PURA issued a stay on the conduct of the proceeding.  Staying this proceeding ensures that PURA can evaluate UI’s storage proposal in a manner consistent with the Authority’s determinations in Docket No. 17-12-03, and also provides time to evaluate how any revisions to the regional electric tariff administered by ISO-NE regarding participation and compensation of electric storage resources in wholesale electric markets will impact UI’s proposal. 

Public Act 18-50, An Act Concerning Connecticut’s Energy Future, mandates many changes to tariffs for distributed generation in Connecticut, many of which must be implemented by PURA.  PURA has initiated the following dockets to implement the requirements of Public Act 18-50.
  • Docket No. 18-06-15, PURA Review of the Implementation Requirements of Section 7 of Public Act 18-50.  The purpose of this “pre-docket” is for PURA to: 1) seek stakeholder input in reviewing and identifying the requirements of Section 7 of Public Act 18-50 and related sections; 2) develop a procedural roadmap and timeline for PURA implementation of those requirements; and 3) invite comment on preliminary considerations and areas of focus for future proceedings pursuant to Section 7.  PURA will not be making any final determinations on the merits of any substantive issues related to Section 7 of Public Act 18-50 in this proceeding; the purpose of this proceeding is to identify the substantive issues that must be addressed in future proceedings and identify a preliminary scope and timeline for those future proceedings.

Interested in receiving email updates for the above dockets, and other PURA proceedings? Sign up through PURA’s email notification system.  If you’re having difficulties updating an existing account, use the Internet Explorer browser and follow these troubleshooting tips
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Content last updated July 2018