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Maine PUC Releases Report on Evolution of Electrical Grid to Meet Climate Goals

On December 1, 2021, the Maine PUC released a Report on the first phase of its investigation into necessary design and operational changes to the electrical distribution grid to facilitate the State’s clean energy goals. In February of 2020, the PUC initiated this investigation in response to recent legislation designed to encourage development of solar and other distributed energy resources (DER).

The December 2021 Report, prepared by Electrical Power Engineers, assesses CMP’s and Versant’s distribution systems, and will guide the later phases of the MPUC investigation. The second phase of the investigation will consist of a Gap Analysis of any “technical and directional goals for Maine’s distribution systems as well as any improvements or modifications to existing utility processes, practices, and technologies that may be necessary to meet those goals.” The third phase will provide a Roadmap for meeting the identified climate goals.

A few of the key findings from the Report’s Executive Summary are highlighted below:

  • “Versant has significant available capacity to serve additional electrification loads and provide a buffer against the impacts of extreme temperatures as a result of climate change.”
  • CMP has several elements either planned or in motion that will improve load and DER hosting capabilities as well as overall flexibility.
  • Both Versant and CMP have experienced substantial increases in interconnection requests by renewable/distributed energy resources (DER) that are creating challenges for interconnection study processes.

The MPUC is requesting interested parties file comments on the Report by December 23, 2021.

Please reach out to Verrill’s Energy, Telecommunications and Natural Resources Group for more information.

Topics: Electricity, Renewable Energy