“Self-healing” technology is part of a collaboration between Eversource, National Grid and Unitil.
A new wave of modernization to the federal grid is coming after the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved a $450 million investment in the grid earlier this week.
Approved by an October 7 Department of Public Utilities (DPU) order, the investment is a joint venture between Eversource, National Grid and Unitil.
The changes have been rolled out over four years and, according to the DPU, “expanded deployment of grid monitoring, advanced communication and automation technologies” to modernize the system and make it more “safe and reliable.”
“The investments authorized by this Utilities order will not only make Massachusetts’ power grid more resilient, but will also maximize benefits for rate payers statewide,” said Beth Card, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs. said in the release.
Each company proposed its own modernization plan, but National Grid’s plan was the largest with a budget cap of $308 million. Eversources’ plan is the next largest, at $162.6 million. Unitil, the smallest of the three, also has the smallest investment, totaling $9.07 million.
Commonwealth residents are already beginning to hear that electricity prices may rise this winter, and the order details what each company expects as a result of this investment.
Eversource’s estimated increase is $0.54 per month or 0.4%. National Grid estimates an increase of between 0.8% and 2% based on the exact amount of actual investment. And finally, Unitil estimates an increase of $0.67 per month or 0.4% per month.
DPU requires power companies to create these plans to accelerate system upgrades. According to a DPU release, the first modernization plan was approved in May 2018 and included investments and projects through 2021.
“Today’s DPU order accelerates the continued modernization of the federal power system, improves customer safety and reliability, strengthens the state’s power infrastructure, and advances the development of sustainable, efficient, and clean energy technologies. It’s another great example of our efforts to accelerate development,” said Matt Nelson. , the DPU chairman said in a release. “Importantly, this new period of investment in grid modernization will put the Commonwealth on track to meet its clean energy and climate goals.”
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