White Paper: A New Grid Architecture for Optimizing Resiliency

Grid resiliency has never been more topical than it is now. Extreme weather supply constraints, cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and broad electrification are creating greater risks for modern society as it increasingly relies on the grid for its energy needs. Forward-thinking policy makers must consider a new grid architecture to achieve greater resiliency against multiple threat vectors. As the list of critical customers and community services relying on electric service expands, policies that support microgrids can work in tandem with the existing regulatory framework for electric utilities to cost effectively deliver high levels of resiliency. 

Microgrids are the key to achieving resiliency while optimizing for customer needs, economic value, and expeditious project development. Regulators should promote overall grid modernization and hardening funded by ratepayers to achieve basic standards for resiliency. Furthermore, regulators should allow the costs for local, customer-driven “dual purpose” microgrids funded by private capital to be offset by revenues from market-based grid support services. A holistic regulatory approach to grid design and resource participation will encourage more microgrid development and resiliency enhancements.