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Department of Public Utilities Approves Grid Modernization Investments
01:19PM / Saturday, October 15, 2022
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BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration announced additional efforts to modernize the electric distribution system to improve reliability and enable clean energy development through a Department of Public Utilities (DPU) Order. 
 
The DPU order grants final approval for Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil to collectively invest over $450 million in various grid modernization technologies over a four-year term. Based on this approval, the electric distribution companies will expand the deployment of grid monitoring technologies, advanced communication technologies, and automation technologies that will modernize the state's electric power system and allow for more self?healing to enhance safety and reliability.
 
"The investments authorized by this Department of Public Utilities Order will not only enhance the resiliency of Massachusetts' electric grid, but will also maximize benefits for ratepayers across the state," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. "The Baker-Polito Administration supports the DPU's Order, which furthers efforts to utilize innovative technologies that will achieve measurable results, such as improved storm restoration, while continuing ongoing efforts to improve efficiency and address our climate challenges."
 
In order to accelerate upgrades to the electric distribution systems, the DPU requires the electric companies to develop plans to implement grid modernization technologies and practices to enhance reliability, reduce electricity costs, empower customers to better manage usage, and support a clean, more efficient electric system. The first grid modernization plans were approved on May 10, 2018, and included investments and demonstration projects deployed in 2018 through 2021. 
 
The DPU's approval of certain investments in the new grid modernization plans builds on and further accelerates the modernization of the electric system with a particular focus on grid?facing investments, including significant enhancements in informational technology and automation.
 
"Today's DPU Order is another great example of efforts to accelerate the continued modernization of the Commonwealth's electric power system, improve safety and reliability for customers, harden the state's electric infrastructure, and advance the development of sustainable, efficient clean energy technologies," said Department of Public Utilities Chair Matt Nelson. "Importantly, this new term of grid modernization investments will keep the Commonwealth on course to achieve our clean energy and climate goals."
 
In the next phase of the proceeding, the DPU is reviewing the remaining proposals in the new grid modernization plans related to interconnecting, managing, monitoring, and dispatching distributed energy resources, and advanced modeling and forecasting technologies, as well as the advanced metering infrastructure implementation plans proposed by the electric distribution companies.
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