Community Microgrid (Government/Non-Profit) - Program Background

Program Background

Microgrids and Massachusetts: Regulatory Context

In June 2014, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an order requiring each Massachusetts utility to develop and implement a 10-year grid modernization plan. Grid modernization will provide several benefits to the Commonwealth, including:

  • Empowering customers to better manage and reduce electricity costs;
  • Enhancing the reliability and resiliency of electricity service in the face of increasingly extreme weather;
  • Encouraging innovation and investment in new technology and infrastructure, strengthening the competitive electricity market;
  • Addressing climate change and meeting clean energy requirements by integrating more clean and renewable power, demand response, electricity storage, microgrids and electric vehicles, and providing for increased amounts of energy efficiency.

The development of properly-designed and -sited community microgrids in Massachusetts communities can lower customer energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide increased resiliency. As such the MA Department of Public Utilities cites microgrids as one strategy among several to meet multiple broadly shared objectives in the Grid Modernization Process Final Report.