Federal and State Governments Come Together to Improve Grid-Enhancing Technologies for Existing Transmission

In late May, the White House announced the creation of the Federal-State Modern Grid Deployment Initiative, designed to accelerate improvements to the electric transmission and distribution network, which are critical to meeting the country’s objectives for affordable, clean, reliable, and resilient power.

“Grid stakeholders are increasingly looking for opportunities to meet those objectives, while facing a variety of challenges around projected electric load growth, line congestion, interconnection delays, siting and permitting, variability in power prices for consumers, and increasing reliability risks from extreme weather events due to climate change,” said the announcement.

The Initiative recognizes that more modern, more dynamic approaches to power system management are needed to keep pace with the scale of changes happening across the country.

The Initiative aims to bring together states, federal entities, and power sector stakeholders to help the grid adapt quickly and cost-effectively to meet the challenges and opportunities that the power sector faces in the twenty-first century.

“Grid modernization can be encumbered by legacy policies and technologies designed for a time when electricity demand was much more static than it is today,” said the announcement. “The resurgence of American domestic manufacturing along with the rapid adoption of electric vehicles and growth of large data centers, among other factors, require a collective shift in perspective about the grid to more proactive, innovative approaches that are better suited to tackle the accelerating pace of innovation. While progress has been made to address challenges to building new grid assets such as transmission and distribution lines, additional options are needed, particularly tools that can provide more immediate impact and solutions.”

To that end, modern grid technologies, including high performance conductors and grid-enhancing technologies (“GETs”), such as dynamic line ratings, are proven, commercially-

available solutions that can be rapidly and affordably deployed at-scale today to improve line capacity, performance, and resilience. They can be beneficial for both new and existing transmission and distribution projects:

– For new projects, they can help get new generation and loads interconnected faster, with less disruption, and also protect against future demand increases.

– For existing infrastructure, modern grid technologies can be even more valuable, by significantly reducing deployment costs, permitting times, and build times.

“Although these solutions have strong operational track records in several countries around the globe and many of the top technologies come from U.S.-based companies, widespread deployment in the U.S. continues to lag,” said the announcement. “The Federal-State Modern Grid Deployment Initiative aims to drive efforts to speed up adoption and deployment of those tools to ensure that the electric grid remains a source of strength for continued progress and economic vitality of the states individually and the country as a whole.”

States participating in this Initiative will advance a number of commitments to accelerate modern grid solutions, with support and collaboration from the federal government to ensure collective progress toward these shared goals.

The announcement goes on to list seven mutual Federal and State commitments, seven Federal commitments, and six State commitments.


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