California and Texas have smartest grids in U.S., new index shows


Becky Harrison,
CEO, GridWise
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 23, 2013 – California and Texas have the smartest grids in the United States, according to the newly released Grid Modernization Index (GMI) developed by the GridWise Alliance and Smart Grid Policy Center.

The next group following are (in order) Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Arizona, District of Columbia, Ohio, Nevada, and Illinois. Completing the top fifteen are Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, Vermont and Maine.

The Index is aimed to evaluate the status of electric grid modernization in the U.S. It is based on a clearly defined set of criteria comprised of three components – state policies and regulatory mechanisms that facilitate grid investment (policy), investments in customer enabling technologies and capabilities (customer engagement), and investments in grid enhancement technologies and capabilities (grid operations).

“If the U.S. is to achieve a modernized grid, the states will play a major role regarding how, and at what pace, this transition will occur,” said Becky Harrison, CEO of the GridWise Alliance. “This makes the information and analysis contained in the GMI of particular interest.”

The study covered 41 states and the District of Columbia. Among the findings:

  • Scores for states that have retail choice, belong to RTOs or ISOs, and have renewable portfolio standards all showed high positive correlations, indicating a relationship exists between these federal and state policies and greater investments in grid modernization
  • A positive correlation was found between the state policy component scores and grid operations component scores, although the correlation is not statistically significant for the top 15 states
  • A high positive and statistically significant correlation was found between states that received ARRA Smart Grid Investment Grants and the scoring across the three components (i.e. policy, customer engagement and grid operations)
  • No correlation was found between electricity end use prices in any customer segment and the Index scores, indicating that the price of electricity is not a primary driver for grid modernization
  • States that scored higher overall in the Index also demonstrated higher scores in addressing cybersecurity and data privacy than other states
  • States that scored higher overall also have higher scores in engaging customers
  • States that scored higher overall also have deployed more sensors and advanced modeling tools for both transmission and distribution grids
  • The 15 highest scoring states all have deployed smart meters to their residential and small commercial customers to some extent, with 10 of these having installed smart meters for at least 60 percent of their consumers
  • Most states are lagging in the areas of establishing metrics, measuring the value of grid investments, and in determining appropriate cost recovery mechanisms.