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The GridWise Alliance (GWA) and the Smart Grid Policy Center (SGPC) have released the 2013 Grid Modernization Index (GMI), which evaluates and ranks states based on their progress in modernizing their electric systems with smart grid technologies.

According to the groups, the GMI focuses on three key areas: policy, customer engagement and grid operations. Using those criteria, the report ranks the states, including the District of Columbia, that scored the highest.

California and Texas tied for the highest overall score, followed by Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Arizona, the District of Columbia, Ohio, Nevada, Illinois, Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, Vermont and Maine complete the top 15.

“The U.S. economy is dependent on a secure, reliable and resilient electric grid. Modernizing America’s electric grid is vital to ensuring that our electric system will be able to meet the demands of our digital society,” says Becky Harrison, CEO of the GWA. “If the U.S. is to achieve a modernized grid, the states will play a major role regarding how, and at what pace, this transition will occur.”

The 2013 GMI also offers the following observations:

- The GMI scores for states that have retail choice, belong to Regional Transmission Organizations or Independent System Operators, and have renewable portfolio standards all show high positive correlations, which the report says indicates a relationship exists between these federal and state policies and greater investments in grid modernization.

- The report says there is a statistically significant correlation between states that received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Smart Grid Investment Grants and the scoring across all three components (i.e., policy, customer engagement and grid operations) of the GMI.

- No correlation was found between electricity end use prices in any customer segment and the GMI scores, which the report says indicates that the price of electricity is not a primary driver for grid modernization.

- The states that scored higher overall in the GMI also demonstrate higher scores in addressing cybersecurity and data privacy than other states, the report adds. This could be driven either by the utilities themselves or by the state as a whole.

- States that scored higher overall also have higher scores in engaging customers - e.g., by educating them, as well as by offering them products and services, including more dynamic pricing options.

- States that scored higher overall also have deployed more sensors and advanced modeling tools for both transmission and distribution grids.

- The 15 highest-scoring states all have deployed smart meters to their residential and small commercial customers to some extent. Ten of these 15 states have installed smart meters in place for at least 60% of their consumers.

The GMI report is available on the GridWise Alliance website.




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