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Grid Modernization

The energy system in the United States is undergoing an unprecedented transition as disruptive, consumer-centric technologies upend the historic model of simply supplying energy to passive consumers. Utilities face expectations to accommodate and promote distributed solar, efficiency, smart energy management, and energy storage, even as these technologies challenge utilities’ revenue structures. Acadia Center is following this transition closely in the Northeast and commenting on what the utilities are doing to modernize the grid.

Optimizing Energy Procurement

Clean energy imports can help achieve greenhouse gas reduction requirements and diversify Massachusetts’ energy portfolio, and in order to maximize benefits, reduce total ratepayer costs, and address incentives that could lead to excess transmission costs, onshore wind should be included in any hydroelectric procurement.

Community|EnergyVision

Community|EnergyVision is a comprehensive framework that outlines a pathway for communities to take control of the energy system and modernize the way it is planned and managed. The illustrated publication details the full range of relevant issues surrounding Community Energy and provides examples of successful Community Energy systems emerging in the U.S. and abroad.

Next Generation Solar Framework

Across the United States, a debate is underway about the proper way to design electricity rates in order to provide fair compensation for local solar generation. Acadia Center’s analysis shows that the value of solar energy to electric ratepayers is actually greater than the compensation provided to solar generation through retail rate net metering, the currently predominant method of compensation through rates. However, as the amount of local solar grows over time, reforms to solar compensation methods will be needed. To foster a fairer and more effective way to incorporate local solar into the electric system, Acadia Center developed a forward-looking and broadly applicable solar compensation model, the Next Generation Solar Framework. This solar framework can be further adapted to other forms of local generation as well.

Joint Comments on Massachusetts’ Utilities Gas Procurement

Joint letter by Acadia Center and clean energy developers calling for fair consideration of alternatives to natural gas in meeting the region’s electricity needs. The letter is written in response to a Request for Proposals by Eversource and National Grid seeking bids only from providers of liquefied natural gas, regional gas storage, and pipeline expansion projects. Eversource and National Grid are participants in at least one project that could qualify for contracts; the pipeline expansion and storage project Access Northeast. The letter calls for redrafting of the RFP to allow for participation of lower cost and lower risk clean energy options to meet the region’s clean energy needs.

Charging Up

A report from Acadia Center, Conservation Law Foundation, and Sierra Club highlighting the programs and policies that some Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states already have in place to accelerate electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the region while at the same time emphasizing that to meaningfully lower air pollution much more is needed in each state in the near-term. This report makes clear that we need an all-hands-on-deck effort from government, utilities, automakers, and autodealers, and it lays out a full range of priority actions and policies to accelerate EV adoption.

The Future of Brayton Point

Acadia Center’s coal-to-clean energy concept for Brayton Point describes how large scale energy storage and combined heat and power (CHP) can revitalize existing energy infrastructure to integrate offshore wind, optimize the operation of the power grid, and drive diversified economic development in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Value of Distributed Generation- Solar PV in New Hampshire

Acadia Center assessed the grid and societal value of six marginal solar PV systems in New Hampshire to better understand the overall value that solar PV provides to the grid. By evaluating an array of configurations, this analysis determines that the value of solar to the grid – and ratepayers connected to the grid – ranges from 19-24 cents/kWh, with additional societal values of approximately 7 cents/kWh.

New from Acadia Center
EnergyVision 2030 Strengthening RGGI