State Requirements for Electric Distribution System Planning

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Utilities have conducted distribution planning since they first began building and operating electricity systems. But filing these plans for regulatory and stakeholder review is a relatively recent phenomenon. 
This report summarizes legislative and regulatory requirements for regulated electric utilities to file some type of distribution system plan in 20 U.S. jurisdictions. Some plans focus on expedited cost recovery for certain types of distribution system improvements; other plans focus on investments for grid modernization or distributed energy resources. Increasingly, states are adopting requirements for Integrated Distribution Plans. Such plans provide holistic grid investment strategies that address state and local policies and increasing complexity at the grid edge. 
The report covers the following topics for distribution system plans, highlighting advanced practices:
  • State goals and objectives
  • Procedural requirements
  • Forecasting loads and distributed energy resources
  • Hosting capacity analysis
  • Baseline information requirements
  • Grid modernization strategy
  • Grid needs assessment
  • Non-wires solutions
  • Reliability and resilience analyses
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Equity
  • Pilots
  • Coordination with other planning processes 
The report includes links to legislation; regulatory requirements, proceedings, and orders; and filed utility plans. 
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity provided funding support.

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Click here for ainteractive map and detailed table of state requirements.


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