(a)  Purpose. – The purpose of this rule is to establish guidelines for the reporting of information regarding a utility's smart grid technology plan in addition to that required in Rule R8-60(i)(10). The information included should describe the conceptual structure and overall organization and impact of the utility’s smart grid plans and provide details about the smart grid technologies being evaluated, designed, or implemented.

(b)  Smart Grid Technology Plan. – By October 1, 2014, and every two years thereafter, each utility subject to Commission Rule R8-60(i)(10) shall file with the Commission its biennial smart grid technology plan. By October 1 of each year in which the biennial smart grid technology plan is not required to be filed, each utility shall file with the Commission a smart grid technology update report that includes significant amendments or revisions to its biennial smart grid technology plan.

(c)  Biennial Smart Grid Technology Plan Contents -- For purposes of this Rule, smart grid technologies are as set forth in Rule R8-60(i)(10) and shall also include those that provide real-time, automated, interactive technologies that enable the optimization and/or operation of consumer devices and appliances, including metering of customer usage and providing customers with options to control their energy consumption.

The plan shall include all of the following:

(1)           A summary of the utility's strategy for evaluating and developing smart grid technologies.

(2)           A description of how the proposed smart grid technology plan will improve reliability and security of the grid.

(3)           For all smart grid technologies currently being deployed or scheduled for implementation within the next five years:

(i)            A description of the technologies including the goals and objectives of each technology, options for ensuring interoperability of the technology with the legacy system, and the expected life of the technology.

(ii)           The status and timeframe for completion.

(iii)          A description of any existing equipment to be rendered obsolete by the new technology, its anticipated book value at time of retirement, alternative uses of the existing equipment, and the expected salvage value of the existing equipment.

(iv)          A description of how the utility intends the technology to transfer information between it and the customer while maintaining the security of that information.

(v)           A description of how third parties will implement or utilize any portion of the technology, including transfers of customer-specific information from the utility to third parties, and how customers will authorize that information for release by the utility to third parties.

(vi)          Approximate timing and amount of capital expenditures, including those already incurred.

(vii)         Analyses relied upon by the utility for installations, including an explanation of the methodology and inputs used to perform the analyses.

(4)           For all smart grid technologies actively under consideration for implementation within the next five years, the smart grid technology plan shall include a description of the technologies, including the goals and objectives of the technologies, as well as a descriptive summary of any completed analysis used by the utility in assessing the smart grid technology.

(5)           For each pilot project or initiative currently underway or planned within the next two years to evaluate smart grid technologies:

(i)            A description, including its objective and an explanation of how it will improve grid performance or provide improved or additional utility goods and services.

(ii)           The status and timeframe for completion.

(iii)          The total cost incurred to date by the utility to conduct and investigate each pilot project or initiative, including whether and to what extent these projects are or will be funded by government grants.

(iv)          A summary of the results of any pilot project or initiative that is completed if the final results of the pilot project or initiative have not yet been included in previous plans.

(v)           An explanation of how the results of the pilot project or initiative will be used by the utility if the explanation has not yet been included in previous plans.

(6)           A description of each project or initiative described in a previous plan that is no longer under consideration by the utility, and the basis for the decision to end consideration of each project or initiative.

(7)           For automated metering infrastructure (AMI), in addition to the information required in subsections (3) or (4) of this section, as appropriate, the utility shall also provide:

(i)            A table indicating the extent to which AMI meters have been installed in the utility's service territory and specifically in North Carolina, the North Carolina jurisdictional customer classes and/or tariffs of customers with AMI, and the predicted lifespans of these installations. This table should indicate the number of AMI meters that has been installed both cumulatively and since the filing of the last smart grid technology plan.

(ii)           The number of meters in North Carolina that use traditional metering technology and/or automated meter reading (AMR) technology, and the predicted lifespans for these installations.

(iii)          Any adjustment made by the utility to its capital accounting due to AMI, including the dollar amount of write-downs of its meter inventories.

(iv)          A discussion of what AMI services or functions are currently being utilized, as well as any plans for implementing other AMI services or functions within the next two years.

(d)  Review of Plans and Update Reports.

(1)           Within 30 days after the filing of each utility's biennial smart grid technology plan, the Public Staff or any other intervenor may file comments on any or all of the plans. Within 14 days after the filing of initial comments, the parties may file reply comments addressing any substantive or procedural issues raised by any other party. The Commission may schedule smart grid technology plan presentations by the utilities. A hearing to address issues raised by the Public Staff or any other intervenors may be scheduled at the discretion of the Commission. The scope of the hearing shall be limited to issues as identified by the Commission.

(2)           Within 30 days of the filing of each utility's smart grid technology update report, the Public Staff shall report to the Commission whether each utility's update report meets the filing requirements of this rule. The Commission may schedule smart grid technology plan update presentations by the utilities.

(3)           Any acceptance of a smart grid technology plan or update report shall not constitute an approval of the recovery of costs or of any specific technology or program associated with the plan.


(NCUC Docket No. E-100, Sub 126, 4/11/2012; NCUC Docket No. E-100, Sub 126, 5/06/2013; NCUC Docket No. E-100, Sub 126, 6/13/2016.)