51st State Ideas I A Whitepaper Discussion
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51st State Ideas I A Whitepaper Discussion

  • Critical factors such as location and societal and economic parameters impact new gird design
  • A future grid will likely be composed of distributed energy resources (DERs) and central station generation
  • Utilities will be significantly involved in a future grid, to ensure safety, security, and reliability

Southern Company proposes a future grid composed of DERs and central station generation

From a consumer-centered perspective, Southern Company argues that there are many considerations at play when designing a new “51st State” electrical system, including critical factors such as location, societal and economic parameters, and consumer flexibility and choice. Southern Company suggests that given customer preference for new energy solutions, a new 51st State grid will likely be composed of distributed energy resources (DER) (split between distribution voltage and behind-the-meter resources), as well as some central station generation. In order to maintain a safe, reliable and cybersecure grid, the utility will have to be significantly involved, even if some of the system components are owned by the customer or a third party. For instance, utilities will need to install, own, operate, and maintain the EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) in much the same way as transmission and distribution grids.

Author: Howard Smith, Southern Company

This report was not written by or originated from any member of SEPA staff and SEPA does not endorse any opinions expressed in this paper.

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