The Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (DOE-OE), in close collaboration with California, New York, District of Columbia, Hawaii and Minnesota utility regulatory commissions identified the need to develop guidance to assist in the development and evaluation of distribution grid modernization – described as a next generation distribution system platform.

This effort intends to inform decision-makers interested in pursuing grid modernization on any or all of the following goals: a) reliability, safety and operational efficiency, b) enabling customer adoption of DER, and c) the utilization of DER as non-wires alternatives. A key objective of the collaboration is to gain a consistent understanding of the functional and technological requirements that facilitate the adoption of a widely applicable set of technologies for planning and operations that meet each states’ objectives for grid modernization. It is recognized that each jurisdictions’ procedural paths and policy decisions will vary and as such the work plan that emerges should consider priorities for mutual efforts while respecting jurisdictional differences. The organizational structure of this initiative allows for other states to engage over the course of the effort.

DOE-OE, with the sponsoring commissions, has brought together a team with industry expertise in the areas of grid planning, operations, market design, related technologies, and policy to support this effort. This initiative also draws from a range of existing technical documents, policy papers, and thought pieces addressing grid modernization and incorporates feedback from leading experts following multiple rounds of industry review.