Net Zero Grid Planning Lab
To accelerate the planning process in Massachusetts while exploring ways to reduce the costs of transitioning to a net zero grid, MassCEC engaged technical consultants and software startups through the NZG Planning Lab. Through first-of-its-kind analysis and innovative software tools, these experts are assessing current distribution system barriers and opportunities, conducting load forecasts based on decarbonization scenarios, and demonstrating novel distribution system planning tools, protocols, and emerging technologies that will further grid decarbonization goals in a cost-effective manner.
Distributed Energy Resources Dispatch Study
The Commonwealth’s path to Net Zero by 2050 requires significant electrification of the transportation and building sectors accompanied by large-scale deployment of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs). As a result, the Electric Distribution Companies (EDCs) must rapidly expand and upgrade the distribution grid to accommodate numerous new loads and distributed sources of electricity generation. MassCEC’s Net Zero Grid Distribution Planning Lab sought to quantify the approximate cost of this expansion and upgrade, while identifying promising opportunities to limit that cost. Building on this collaboration with the EDCs, MassCEC now seeks to understand how existing and future customer-owned DERs on the distribution grid can provide services that help reduce the overall cost of the energy transition.
About DER Dispatch Study
In September 2022, MassCEC released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for its Value of Distributed Energy Resources for Distribution System Grid Services study and selected Baringa Partners LLP to lead the project in December 2022.
The purpose of this study is to support the development of a roadmap to reduce ratepayer costs associated with the transition to Net Zero, that is specifically designed for the needs and context of Massachusetts. The overarching goal of this work is to arrive at useful concepts for reducing ratepayer costs associated with transitioning to Net Zero by 2050.
Research and Innovation
MassCEC supports collaborations between Massachusetts grid-owners, operators, startups, and researchers that help the Commonwealth meet the mandates of the Global Warming Solutions Act. Better integrating renewable energy sources and protecting the grid from extreme weather events are examples of the topics addressed.
NewGrid is a startup that is devising solutions for grid congestion and the integration of renewables. It previously received funding from MassCEC's InnovateMass program. With additional MassCEC funding, NewGrid is expanding the applications of its NewGrid Router transmission topology optimization technology by developing key practical software features and demonstrating them for the Independent System Operator-New England (ISO-NE). This project builds upon NewGrid’s current ISO-NE demonstration project and will increase the flexibility and resiliency of Massachusetts’ grid.