- The Energy Mix - https://www.theenergymix.com -

‘51st State’ Initiative Seeks Ideas on the Grid of the Future

The U.S. Solar Electric Power Association is soliciting ideas for new, improved grid designs that support 21st century energy technologies rather than inhibiting them, Greentech Media’s Stephen Lacey reported earlier this week.

On a new website titled The 51s State, SEPA envisions the new grid as “a place with no pre-defined electricity market. There are no rules, no market designs, no policies, no subsidies for any type of energy resource. There is a grid to deliver electric power from a variety of sources, including solar. Most of all, there are customers.” SEPA Research Director Mark Taylor said the purpose of the 51st State initiative is to crowdsource ideas and foster dialogue with utilities.

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“The grid of the past valued what was once necessary: centralization, powerful and cheap fossil fuels, and a regulatory compact that allowed monopoly utilities to serve the widest area possible,” Lacey writes. “But the emerging grid—or at least the grid that people hope will emerge—values an entirely new set of objectives: environmental performance, two-way communication, more business competition, and more consumer technology choice.”