White House Aims to Modernize US Grids

The Obama administration announced a number of new initiatives to help the US modernize power grids across the country. The US has seen increasing penetration of renewable energy systems over the past years, from expansive fields of wind turbines to neighborhood rooftop solar installations. As renewable energy systems continue to ramp up, utility grid systems across the country need to be updated to support the integration of variable distributed energy resources.

“Smart electricity market reforms, enhanced transparency, and flexible energy resources such as storage and demand response have the potential to further accelerate the development of a cleaner and smarter grid,” the White House said in a release.

Speaking at a recent summit on integrating renewable energy into grid systems, President Obama outlined executive actions and state and private-sector commitments to help utilities across the country update grid infrastructure in order to leverage the growing distributed energy resources. The proposals are designed to achieve at least 1.3GW of additional storage procurement or deployment in the next five years, the White House said.

“Current and projected levels of variable renewable energy resources are opening up opportunities for technologies such as energy storage and demand response to ensure the reliable and cost-effective supply of electricity,” the White House said, citing a new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

The Obama administration will also promote microgrid developments in rural communities, and increase renewable energy integration into power grid systems serving US military bases.

At the summit, a group of 16 power companies and developers announced storage deployment targets for the next five years across eight states. The summit also saw $130 million worth of investor commitments for energy storage. See a list of utility providers, developers and manufacturers that announced new commitments to smart grid deployments in the US here.

 

Feature image: White House

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