Shikhar Pandey, Ralph Masiello, Digaunto Chatterjee, Erik Takayesu, Alexina Jackson, Aleksi Paaso, Andrea Harper, Colleen Lueken, Damir Novosel, Farnaz Farzan, Waqar Qureshi
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To successfully achieve the desired level of electrification and integrate clean energy resources into the grid, utilities must proactively plan and construct urgently necessary grid infrastructure and must achieve concurrence with regulators and stakeholders of the need for investment. Proactive planning must address constraints created by aging infrastructure and the need for additional generation and grid capacity while evolving planning and operations to incorporate and leverage new technologies to their full extent, including distributed energy resources (DER) technologies, Grid Enhancing Technologies (GET), and advanced automation technologies, while also reflecting evolutions in regulatory and public policy measures. There is also an urgent need across various jurisdictions to anticipate electrification load growth and quantify customer adoption of DER and their value geospatially and temporally. Urgent collaboration among the entire industry and customers is critical to drive innovation, adopt proven processes and technologies, and develop a comprehensive grid planning approach that advances affordability, reliability, resilience, safety, and equity while transitioning to a decarbonized grid future. The design of the grid must be adapted to accommodate increasing penetration of DER and electrification effectively and at speed, which means that grid modernization plays a pivotal role in enabling orderly DER integration and facilitating increased electrification. Planning should be conducted in an integrated manner, considering grid assets, large-scale generation, and DER together to enable delivery of reliable, resilient, safe, and cost-effective electrical energy. This report highlights the importance of grid flexibility, modernization, and integrated planning to achieve advanced emissions targets.