What is Electric Sector Modernization?
The electric system as it is designed today is not prepared for the level of electrification and interconnection of distributed energy resources identified in the MA Commonwealth’s pathway to decarbonization. Investment in the electric system will focus on the overall capacity as well as technological improvements to facilitate an optimized electric system. The long-range forecast focuses investments where they provide the most benefit.
The Electric Sector Modernization Plan is designed to help the Commonwealth realize its Greenhouse Gas Emission (“GHG”) limits and as such, the ESMP accounts for Unitil’s share of achieving these goals. Our transparent planning process will enable all uses of the electric system while maintaining flexibility to alter the plan to address future challenges that have not yet been identified. The plan provides a 5-year forecast, 10-year forecast, and a demand assessment through 2050 to account for future needs.
We submitted our draft ESMP to the MA Grid Modernization Advisory Council (GMAC) on September 1, 2023. Over the course of the fall, the GMAC will review the ESMP and provide feedback. In January 2024, we will submit our final ESMP to the Department of Public Utilities. Visit mass.gov for more info on the ESMP process and the role of the GMAC.
We recently held public meetings to provide customers and stakeholders the opportunity to learn about our draft ESMP and share feedback.
Stakeholder workshops in partnership with the Massachusetts electric distribution utilities will be held in November.
Our External Affairs Manager, Alec O’Meara, explains more in this video.
What are the goals of the ESMP?
The goal of the ESMP is to implement a transparent planning process ensuring the benefits of the plan are distributed in an equitable manner with special attention to providing benefits to environmental justice communities and historically disadvantaged communities.
1: Improve reliability and resiliency
2: Increase the timely adoption of renewable energy resources
3: Promote energy storage and electrification technologies
4: Prepare for future climate-driven impacts on the electric system
5: Accommodate increased electrification from transportation, building and other potential demands
6: Minimize or mitigate the impact to ratepayers while helping the Commonwealth realize its greenhouse gas emission limits.
Electric Sector Modernization Plan
Unitil Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company D.P.U. 24-12 Electric Sector Modernization Plan 2025-2050 Draft Submitted to Grid Modernization Advisory Council
ESMP Public Meetings
We also presented information about the draft ESMP at our Energy Assistance Heating Forum for area non-profits which was held on November 1, 2023 at 8:30 am at the Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg, MA.
- Watch the Energy Assistance Heating Forum, video credit: Fitchburg Access Television, Inc. (FATV).
ESMP Stakeholder Workshops
Stakeholder Workshop #1: November 15, 2023 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Stakeholder Workshop #2: November 28, 2023 1:00 - 5:00 PM
- Webinar and registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85094834566
Massachusetts Technical Standards Review Group (TSRG): ESMP Technical Deep Dive Discussion (facilitated by West Monroe Partners): December 7, 2023 1:00 - 4:00 PM
September 1, 2023: Unitil submitted their draft ESMP to the MA Grid Modernization Advisory Council (GMAC) - final plan to be filed with the DPU in January.
October 24, 2023: Unitil held in-person public meeting on draft ESMP at the Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg, MA.
November 1, 2023: Unitil presented info about ESMP at Energy Assistance Heating Forum for area non-profits at the Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg, MA.
November 3, 2023: Unitil held virtual public meeting on draft ESMP
Find the most up-to-date info and opportunities to learn more here.
Feedback or Questions?
This is an exciting time in the energy industry. Unitil is committed to ensuring service remains safe, reliable, affordable and resilient for decades to come. We look forward to and appreciate your feedback.
We aim to evolve with the transforming energy needs of our customers and help create a sustainable energy future that supports Massachusett’s climate initiatives. These goals require a plan to modernize our electric system to support the level of electrification and interconnection of distributed energy resources identified in the Commonwealth’s pathway to decarbonization.
Unitil's Electric Sector Modernization Plan includes the steps we're taking towards a just transition to a reliable and resilient clean energy future.