The traditional utility and power grid model of a one-way power flow from central generating stations to consumers is rapidly giving way to an exciting, consumer-friendly energy future. The system can be more cost-effective, cleaner, offer greater consumer control over energy costs and help clear the pathway to very low carbon emissions.

In Acadia Center’s vision of a modern grid, homes and businesses become the centerpiece of the energy system. Consumers will have greater control over energy use through technologies such as rooftop solar water heating and photovoltaic systems, advanced meters that help consumers control and monitor power usage, and technologies such as smart appliances and heat pumps. Community energy systems- local wind power, solar arrays, and combined heat and power- will also play an important role in the modern power grid. UtilityVision, an Acadia Center publication, presents this comprehensive vision with illustrations and recommendations. Acadia Center is also participating in grid modernization dockets and related state and regional proceedings and forums.

Technological advancement in the energy arena is moving so quickly that the market is ahead of the regulatory structure governing utilities. Today’s grid planning and investment policies were developed in an earlier era, when large fossil-fueled power plants were constructed to energize population centers. Longstanding policies skew decisions in favor of legacy power grid investments over newer, often less expensive and more advanced solutions. The rules need to change so that viable, often lower-cost, alternatives to transmission and distribution infrastructure projects are fully considered. New regulations should also reflect the appropriate role of the utility in an increasingly decentralized system.

Acadia Center is working to update policy models so they align utilities’ financial incentives with the public’s clean energy, carbon reduction, and economic goals.

 

  • Building a Stronger Maine: Forum Presentations

    Acadia Center is excited to pass along some of the resources and information shared at the Building a Stronger Maine forum on clean energy and transportation opportunities for the state. See the links below for slides from forum speakers, including Kathleen Meil (Acadia Center), Beth Ahearn (Maine Conservation Alliance), Sharon Klein (School of Economics, University of Maine), Ruth Kermish-Allen (Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance), and Emily Lewis (Acadia Center).

  • Building a Stronger Maine: Memorandum to the Next Governor

    The next governor of Maine faces an exciting opportunity: to use proven transportation and energy reforms to revitalize Maine’s economy, competitiveness, and overall quality of life while safeguarding its iconic natural resources. Acadia Center’s analysis indicates that the state could add about $4 billion in new economic benefits and create about 13,500 new jobs through five recommended reforms.

  • Building a Stronger Connecticut: Memorandum to the Next Governor

    The next governor of Connecticut faces an exciting opportunity: to use proven transportation and energy reforms to strengthen Connecticut’s economy, competitiveness, and overall quality of life. Acadia Center’s analysis indicates that the state could add about $11 billion in new economic benefits and create about 33,000 new jobs through five recommended reforms.

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