In recent years, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (CETC), a think tank based at North Carolina State University, has been releasing a quarterly report titled, "50 States of Solar," which tracks solar policymaking at the state level around the nation.

In May, CETC released its first-ever quarterly "50 States of Grid Modernization" report. It is intended to be a quarterly policy tracker that outlines regulatory and legislative efforts related to grid modernization in the 50 states.

In the report's introduction, the authors note they use the term "grid modernization" broadly to refer to actions making the electricity system more resilient, responsive and interactive. Specifically, in the report, the term is intended to include seven topics: smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), utility business model reform, regulatory reform, utility rate reform, energy storage, microgrids, and demand response.

The report's purpose is to provide state lawmakers and regulators, as well as other stakeholders, with timely and unbiased updates on how states are choosing to study, adopt, implement, amend or discontinue policies associated with grid modernization. The report catalogs proposed and enacted legislative, regulatory and rate design changes that affect grid modernization during the most recent quarter.

The first quarter's report found 37 states, plus the District of Columbia, took a total of 148 policy and deployment actions related to grid modernization. These fell into several categories: 36 (24 percent) involved deployment, 29 (20 percent) involved policies, 25 (17 percent) involved financial incentives, 22 (15 percent) involved studies and investigations, 18 (12 percent) involved business model and rate reform, and 18 (12 percent) involved planning and market access.

The 10 most active states were New York (17 policy and deployment actions), Hawaii (16 actions), California (13 actions), Massachusetts (12 actions), Colorado (9 actions), Maryland (8 actions), and North Carolina, Maine, Nevada, and Michigan (5 actions each).

The most common types of actions were AMI deployment (19 actions), smart grid deployment (13 actions), time-varying rates (10 actions), AMI rules (nine actions), energy storage target (nine actions), and grid modernization investigation (nine actions). other actions included microgrid deployment, energy storage deployment, and rate reform study (seven actions each); and energy storage rebate, energy storage tax credit, integrated resource planning, microgrid rules, and energy storage study (six actions each).