UMD’s Wachsman Participates in Discussions on Maryland’s Electric Distribution

UMD’s Wachsman Participates in Discussions on Maryland’s Electric Distribution

Eric Wachsman, Energy Research Director and Council on the Environment member at the University of Maryland, has been selected to participate in a series of round table discussions on “Improving the Resiliency of Maryland’s Electric Distribution System.”

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is soliciting input and analysis from experts across the state regarding policy recommendations and potential regulatory reforms to improve the state’s electric distribution infrastructure and resiliency. Wachsman claims, “UMERC's research on electrical storage, distributed generation, smart grid and grid infrastructure are the key to providing those solutions.” These efforts come in the wake of recent severe weather events, causing lengthy power outages and posing a serious threat to the public health and safety of Maryland citizens. Due to climate change, the State of Maryland is expected to continue to experience severe weather patterns in the coming years.

The live-streaming round table discussion took place on Tuesday, August 28, 2012. The group has 60 days to report back to the Governor with recommended legislative changed, regulatory reforms and other executive branch actions. The discussion was focused on the question: What investments should customers be encouraged to make (or not to make) to increase their reliability? Should there be distributed power generation and storage? What is the role of microgrids, and who should own and operate them? Should we be looking into that as well?

Outcomes to the Governor’s roundtable discussions include options for other infrastructure investments in the electric distribution infrastructure that can or should be made in order to improve the resiliency of Maryland’s electric distribution system.  The costs and benefits of such investments should be evaluated over various time periods. Furthermore, options for financing and cost recovery for capital investments to the electric distribution system should be considered.

For more information, visit: http://cone.umd.edu/index.php/news-events/126-wachsman-participates-in-governor-s-roundtable-on-improving-maryland-s-electric-distribution-system

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