Eversource and National Grid expect their annual peak electricity load in Massachusetts to more than double by 2050, the utilities told the state’s Department of Energy Resources (DOER) last week.
The projections are part of the draft electric sector modernization plans (ESMPs) submitted to DOER by Massachusetts’ investor-owned electric utilities, which detail the electric distribution companies’ plans to meet the massive increase in electricity demand associated with the electrification transportation and heating in the state.
The Grid Modernization Advisory Council (GMAC), a stakeholder committee created by the state’s 2022 Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind and convened by DOER, will review the filings, solicit public feedback and provide comments on the utilities’ drafts.
“It’s really taking a forward-looking approach for the first time in Massachusetts’ history,” said Kyle Murray, Massachusetts program director for the Acadia Center and GMAC voting member. Murray said grid planning in the state historically has happened in an “ad hoc manner.”
Murray added that one of the council’s goals is to engage the public in the grid modernization process and include voices that historically have been absent from these proceedings.
Murray said one of his main hopes for the process is to help clear out the interconnection backlog of renewable energy projects.
“We know we need as many renewables on the market as possible, and yet they’re coming on at a pace that’s kind of like a trickle,” Murray said.
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