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Encouraging Grid Modernization

Photo of Senator Mo Denis

Sen. Mo Denis (NV), NHCSL Energy, Infrastructure and Environment Task Force Chair

Sponsored by Sen. Mo Denis (NV)

Reported to the Caucus by the NHCSL Broadband and Technology Task Force
Del. Alfonso López (VA), Chair

Ratified by the Caucus on December 8, 2018

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WHEREAS, investments in local infrastructure are making America's cities technologically innovative for the purpose of creating a better quality of life for citizens, providing for the health, safety, and welfare of all our communities; and particularly, fixed income, low-income, under-served and minority communities;" and,

WHEREAS, according to the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, “high quality and reliable electricity is required to support the transition to a digital economy. Emerging physical and cyber security threats, along with increased demand for faster outage response times, require, at minimum, real-time incident response capabilities. Enabling the integration of energy efficient technologies and practices, clean energy technologies like distributed and utility-scale renewable energy resources, and electric vehicles, while also ensuring the adoption of advanced metering, energy storage, and micro-grid technologies, modernizing our electric system will provide economic benefits, increased security, and more reliable, resilient, and clean electricity;”[1] and,

WHEREAS, "smart cities" have the potential to bridge economic and social barriers through technology and innovation and provide much needed benefits to all citizens including better health, cleaner air, and increased employment opportunities; and,

WHEREAS, the creation of smart cities consists of partnerships between government and the private sector including electric companies as they play an integral role in deploying innovative technologies that benefit its customers; and,

WHEREAS, “grid Modernization efforts compliment other policies such as demand response policies, customer data management, smart metering infrastructure, electric vehicles and others. Policy approaches around grid modernization should be seen as an umbrella to put in place a structure that supports and ties together these other individual policy initiatives;”[2] and,

WHEREAS, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) recognizes that a modernized electric grid is part of a holistic approach to creating and maintaining smart city infrastructure and ensuring all customers have access to safe, reliable, and affordable energy options; and,

WHEREAS, the NHCSL recognizes the regulatory challenges faced by stakeholders as they address the crucial question of who will bear the costs of creating and maintaining smart cities and, in particular, the costs to fixed-income and other vulnerable classes of customers; and,

WHEREAS, the driving principle guiding grid modernization policy should be to ensure that companies and local governments can use the modernized grid to deliver improved services at lower costs to consumers; and,

WHEREAS, public policymakers must ensure smart cities benefit all customers as they manage city ambitions, utility investments, and regulatory policy.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Hispanic Caucus State Legislators (NHCSL) will work with policymakers on the local, state, and federal level to develop policies that facilitate and accelerate the development of smart cities and ensure all communities benefit from its technologies; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NHCSL affirm their support for the creation and maintenance of smart cities, with an intentional focus of providing for the most under-served and vulnerable communities; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NHCSL recognizes the crucial role played by energy companies in investing and maintaining a modernized grid that ensures reliability, safety and affordability for all customers and that a modernized grid uses innovative technology that enhances smart city connectivity with privacy while generating economic opportunities; and,

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, and other federal and state government officials as appropriate.


[1] Colorado State University, Center for the New Energy Economy. Available at: https://spotforcleanenergy.org/policy/grid-modernization-plan/

[2] Colorado State University, Center for the New Energy Economy. Available at: https://spotforcleanenergy.org/policy/grid-modernization-plan/