California ranks highest overall in efforts to modernize its electric grid, while Illinois, Texas, Maryland and Oregon round out the top five, according to the fourth Grid Modernization Index (GMI-4).
The newly released index — published by GridWise Alliance in collaboration with Clean Edge, Inc. — assesses and ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based upon the degree to which they are moving toward a modernized electric grid.
This is the second consecutive time California has ranked highest overall, and the state also places first in each of the three GMI categories (state support, customer engagement, and grid operations). California has a nine-point lead over second-place Illinois, while Texas ranks third. Maryland and Oregon rank fourth and fifth respectively. Rounding out the top 10 are Arizona; Washington, DC; New York; Nevada; and Delaware.
“We are pleased to provide this update to our Grid Modernization Index,” said Steve Hauser, CEO of the GridWise Alliance. “The Alliance is committed to working with all electric industry stakeholders to inform key decisions being made at the state and local level as clean energy, energy storage, EV, and other grid-related technology costs decline, and grid modernization activities expand.”
GMI-4 benchmarks states on a wide range of grid modernization policies, investments, and activities, and provides insights into some of the relationships and connections between state policies and regulations, customer engagement, and utility investments in modernizing the grid. This latest Index edition shows once again that more states than ever are working to address grid modernization related issues.
As the pace of activities has increased, utilities have continued to prioritize reliability and cost-effectiveness while finding effective ways to integrate new technologies. These systems are increasingly being deployed where and when it makes sense, resulting in higher utilization of existing assets, greater system efficiency and resilience, and lower environmental impact.
“The recent serious impacts we’ve seen from major storms and wildfires underscores the need to take grid modernization very seriously,” said Scott Prochazka, CEO of Centerpoint Energy and Chairman of the GridWise Alliance. “The electricity grid is essential to the success of our economy and while each state faces its own unique challenges, it is imperative for states to address both changing energy landscapes and customer needs.”
The Index offers Seven Key Takeaways, providing lessons and best practices for a rapidly modernizing grid:
- The pace of grid modernization efforts has accelerated, particularly on the policy front.
- Recent hurricanes and other extreme weather events, as well as human-caused cyber security and physical security threats, are focusing attention on grid resilience.
- Leading states continue to make progress toward comprehensive grid modernization.
- Many states are just beginning their own grid modernization efforts.
- Some of the early movers may be seeing their momentum slow, particularly in the Grid Operations category.
- Utilities are prioritizing efforts to address customer demands for greater choice and the capability to manage their own energy usage.
- Clean energy targets by states, cities, and corporations are driving utility efforts to accommodate rapid growth in DERs.