The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (CETC), a think tank based at North Carolina State University, releases a quarterly report, “50 States of Solar,” which tracks solar policymaking at the state level around the United States.

In May, the CETC released its first-ever quarterly “50 States of Grid Modernization” report, a policy tracker that outlines regulatory and legislative efforts related to grid modernization in every state. The authors 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, regulators and other stakeholders with timely and unbiased updates on how states are studying, adopting, implementing, amending or discontinuing grid modernization policies. The report catalogs legislative, regulatory and rate design changes that affect grid modernization during the most recent quarter.


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


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


The most common 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, rate reform study, energy-storage rebate, energy-storage tax credit, integrated resource planning, microgrid rules, and energy-storage study.