A Modernized Energy Grid for a Renewable Powered World

It’s not breaking news that we’re seeing a significant and positive shift in the energy world: coal plants are retiring faster, and new renewable energy and battery resources are being added to our energy grid at a growing pace. These trends will continue gaining momentum as more people call for meaningful climate action, and as the cost difference between clean and dirty energy continues to move in favor of renewables.

This is all good news, but in tandem with these changes, our aging energy grid needs modernizing in order to keep up. Utah Clean Energy recently filed comments in a new proceeding before the Utah Public Service Commission focused on modernizing Utah’s energy grid. This proceeding is an opportunity to revive our energy grid for a modern world!

This new proceeding gives Utah stakeholders including Utah Clean Energy, Rocky Mountain Power, and others, an opportunity to work together to develop a process for modernizing Utah’s energy grid. Utah Clean Energy’s team is focused on finding ways to unlock a kaleidoscope of benefits from clean energy resources paired with modern electricity rates.

An Energy Grid Powered by Renewable Energy Must Be Flexible
When we talk about “the energy grid” we are referring to an impressive yet complex network of, to name a few, energy resources – like coal and solar power – combined with transmission lines, substations, and of course, the utilities and technologies managing it all.  The grid was designed over 100 years ago under a one-way model, in which power is generated at a centralized power plant and sent through power lines to our homes and buildings. With the array of new energy resources and technologies at our disposal, this model is in dire need of an overhaul!

This is a moment of unparalleled opportunity to bring our energy system into the 21st century.

A modern energy grid will be flexible, meaning it will leverage new technologies to automate and manage a diverse portfolio of energy resources coming from a variety of locations, distributing energy in an efficient, affordable way.  A modern grid will incentivize homes and businesses to use energy during times of the day when renewable energy generation is at its peak, and will give customers more control over their energy use.  Pairing these new technologies with revamped electricity rates is an effective way to create this incentive while still maintaining cost effective and reliable service for customers. This is the energy grid that Utah Clean Energy is working to bring to fruition.

Buckle In, This Will Be a Long Ride
These changes have the potential to dramatically speed up the decarbonization of our energy supply, but they won’t be made over night. We are gearing up for a long process, whereby our experts will be digging in to how we can modernize our energy grid to make way for more renewable energy and battery storage while ensuring safe, affordable, and reliable energy for all Utahns.  The next step in this process is for the stakeholders to get together and discuss what topics to explore first. Utah Clean Energy will keep you posted on how the process moves forward. 

AUTHOR

Hunter Holman

Hunter Holman

Staff Attorney

RELATED RESOURCES

Grid Modernization Docket

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