Home 2019-06-12T15:47:25+00:00

D.C. Public Service Commission Modernizing the Energy Delivery System for Increased Sustainability (MEDSIS) Working Group Portal 

MEDSIS Vision Statement

“The District of Columbia’s modern energy delivery system must be sustainable, well-planned, encourage distributed energy resources, and preserve the financial health of the energy distribution utilities in a manner that results in an energy delivery system that is safe and reliable, secure, affordable, interactive, and non-discriminatory.”

MEDSIS Guiding Principles

A sustainable energy delivery system will meet the energy needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own energy needs by focusing on the triple bottom line: environmental protection, economic growth, and social equality.

With no large-scale generation in the District, the Commission must ensure that the distribution and transmission systems are strong and robust enough to withstand low probability, high impact events like storms, floods, and physical and cyber threats. To meet these needs, the District’s modern energy delivery system must be developed in a strategic manner that is data-driven, incorporates advanced technologies, and is collaborative and open – allowing for consumer and stakeholder input. Therefore, utilities must:

  • Develop detailed, data-driven Distribution and Integrated Resource Plans that, among other things: make infrastructure planning cost-effective; enable the optimal combination of distributed energy resources (DERs) with traditional capital investment by exploring non-wires alternatives; comply with legislatively mandated deployment of DER in the District; permit rational participation of consumers and distribution service providers; and plan for, track, and monitor DER penetration rates on the grid.

The Commission will ensure that utilities meet and improve safety and reliability performance and that the increasing volume of DERs interconnecting to the District’s grid does not negatively impact the safety or reliability of the energy delivery system by:

  • Requiring the continued investment in prudent infrastructure improvements to the energy system, like Pepco’s reliability investments and Washington Gas’ advance pipeline replacement program, so that the energy delivery system can meet the power needs of the
    District’s current and future consumers.
  • Reviewing and, where appropriate, updating the Commission’s Electricity Quality of Service Standards (EQSS) and Natural Gas Quality of Service Standards (NGQSS) to ensure that the utilities are continually meeting and improving their safety and reliability
  • Updating and continually reviewing interconnection rules to facilitate the interconnection of DERs as well as all generation and storage options in a manner that does not compromise overall system safety and reliability.
  • Where technically and economically feasible, encouraging the deployment of technologies that will not compromise system safety, will increase system reliability, and can accommodate two-way power flow like smart inverters, distributed automation, and sensors to better handle power fluctuations and outages.
  •  Enhancing data collection and real-time data sharing between utilities, third party suppliers, and stakeholders, like PJM, to increase system visibility, communication, and DER dispatchability, in a manner that increases the safety, reliability, and resiliency of the
    energy delivery system.
  • Classifying DER and microgrid providers generating energy and serving more than one customer as subject to the Commission’s authority thus enabling the Commission to protect District ratepayers, enforce the Consumer Bill of Rights (CBOR), and ensure the continued
    safe and reliable provision of energy service.

The modern energy delivery system must be secure from both physical attacks to critical infrastructure components as well as from cybersecurity attacks that target energy information systems and private consumer information. Therefore, utilities and energy service providers must:

  • Develop, utilize, and maintain robust physical and cybersecurity protections and risk management strategies that incorporate industry best practices like those established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Framework for Improving
    Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.
  • Ensure that the energy delivery system is resilient, uses modern grid security protocols, and is designed to resist, discourage, and rapidly recover from physical and cybersecurity attacks and system disruptions.
  • Safeguard private and or confidential business data and consumer information from intentional or unintentional release or disclosure to untrusted environments.

The Commission has a duty to ensure that rates for distribution service are just and reasonable. The Commission balances the desire of customers to keep rates down with the need to ensure that utilities remain financially healthy, able to attract investors, and pay for needed infrastructure maintenance and development. Balancing these interests, in the context of system modernization, becomes especially challenging when considering costly upgrades to the distribution system as well as potential ratepayer subsidization of costly renewable and DER technologies.

As an increasing number of smaller scale and more localized resources come online the relationship between the energy distribution company, the consumer, and service providers will become increasingly complex and dynamic. New services will become available, energy and data will increasingly flow in multiple directions, and different types and scales of resources will enter the distribution system. A modern energy delivery system must become more interactive and flexible to accommodate these types of resources while maintaining system reliability and security. This interactivity is critical both in terms of managing the distribution system and in providing locational transparency and technical feasibility which will allow ratepayers, customer-generators, and DER providers to make informed energy choices. Therefore, the Commission:

  • Recognizes the importance of the customer’s ability to access and share energy data. Access to data empowers customers and third parties to utilize and develop new products and services. This includes activating the Home Area Network capability on customers’ smart meters to realize additional benefits of existing AMI infrastructure and streamlining AMI data sharing through tools such as Green Button Connect My Data which can securely transfer AMI data to authorized third parties.
  • Emphasizes the importance of improving and expanding consumer and stakeholder access to publicly available data related to distribution system constraints and technical capacity. Providing public access to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) such as hosting capacity maps, restricted circuits, and installed and pending solar projects provides critical distribution system information to customer-generators, community renewable energy
    facility owners, and DER providers.
  • Encourages the interaction and communication between DERs, the distribution system, and the macro grid and that technologies that provide value to the distribution system, such as smart inverters, should be prioritized over technologies that merely benefit individual customers.

Nondiscrimination in the operation of the District’s energy infrastructure is integral to the Commission’s mandate to supervise energy utilities in the District of Columbia. Furthermore, since the restructuring of the energy markets, the need for the Commission to ensure that energy utilities operate in a nondiscriminatory manner has proliferated. Nondiscrimination covers both the technical operation of and the rates and fees charged for utilizing and accessing the energy utility infrastructure. The Commission will ensure that the District’s modern energy system is non-discriminatory, open to competition, and provides for customer choice in accordance with District law by:

  • Affording DER providers with a low-cost and streamlined interconnection process to facilitate customer generation. Encouraging continuous improvement and development of initiatives, like Pepco’s Green Power Connection, that facilitate DER interconnection and build off past experience to reduce or eliminate barriers so that DERs can compete on a level playing field with wholesale energy.
  • Unlocking customer and system data held by the incumbent utility in a controlled manner so that customers, DER providers, and third-party suppliers can provide targeted offerings to meet system needs and better serve the needs of customers.
  • Pursuing policies that are technology neutral in both system operations and rate structure so that rates remain just and reasonable.
  • Achieving the maximum benefits of competition and encouraging stakeholders to bring forward proposals for the competitive provision of services now included in the regulated monopoly distribution services.

MEDSIS Working Groups

Community sites for the six MEDSIS Working Groups approved by the Commission can be accessed below.  These sites contain information meeting minutes, agendas and presentations.

MEDSIS Stakeholder Working Group Final Report

Please email DCMEDSIS@sepapower.org or inquire here with any comments or questions