Expanding the Use of Non-Wires Alternatives

In an Energy Central article, Navigant Research explained the advancement non-wire alternatives are making and what challenges they face

Non-wires alternatives (NWAs), or non-traditional transmission and distribution technologies (T&D), are gaining traction across the U.S. as utility business models evolve.

In an Energy Central article, Jessie Mehrhoff, research analyst at Navigant Research, said grid modernization efforts are leading to a changing view of the traditional utility, which may help to reduce barriers to NWA development. 

“Traditionally, vertically integrated utilities were disincentivized to adopt NWAs as higher levels of T&D meant higher returns,” Mehrhoff said. “However, a trend toward decoupling utilities and deregulating markets may assist in the removal of this barrier.”

She also noted how utilities across the U.S. still face challenges when implementing the technology, with the following factors hindering their growth:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Absence of a standard business model
  • Natural disincentive for utility implementation

“Despite the overall nascency of the market, as more utilities implement NWAs and navigate the regulations guiding their development, the energy industry should develop more clarity surrounding non-traditional T&D upgrades,” Mehrhoff said. 

Read the Energy Central Article
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