SPEER and Non-Wires Alternatives
What are non-wires alternatives (NWAs)? They are defined by Navigant (2017) as an electricity grid investment or project that uses non-traditional transmission and distribution (T&D) solutions, such as distributed generation (DG), energy storage, energy efficiency (EE), demand response (DR), and grid software and controls, to defer or replace the need for specific equipment upgrades, such as T&D lines or transformers, by reducing load at a substation or circuit level.
Texas customers could save significant money with distributed energy resources, but things need to change for that to happen. SPEER has been involved in the discussion about NWAs for many years. In 2017 SPEER advocated for non-wires alternatives and brought various stakeholders to consensus. After socializing and promoting the issue more broadly, the PUCT opened Project 48023 in 2018. This rulemaking was opened to address the use of non-traditional technologies in electric delivery service. In the 2019 legislative session SB 1941, which addressed the ownership or contracting for storage as a non-wires alternative by the IOUs, did not pass and now this issue is currently being discussed at ERCOT. We will likely see this examined during the 2021 legislative session. SPEER plans to continue to collaborate with various stakeholders to ensure this topic is prioritized.
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