Working Groups

The NextGrid Working Groups will meet regularly to develop a shared base of information and build consensus on critical issues facing the electric utility industry now and as it continues to rapidly transform. The Groups’ work will lead to a comprehensive final report that will outline opportunities and challenges, identify areas of consensus and disagreement, educate policymakers, and provide a range of recommendations aimed at empowering customers and communities, driving economic development, and creating a regulatory model that supports innovation and optimizes the electric utility industry for all constituents.

If you would like to participate in or recommend a working group member, such as a company or individual, please fill out the statement of interest here

The ICC is committed to a proactive collaboration among stakeholders to identify and explore technological advancements and regulatory models that can bring the greatest benefit to customers and communities throughout Illinois. The public is encouraged to participate and comment on the findings and recommendations of the Working Groups. Check back to the NextGrid website for updates and more information about Working Group meetings and presentations.

  • New Technology Deployment and Grid Integration
  • An exploration into the capabilities of emerging technologies, including distributed energy resources (DERs) and electric vehicles, and their integration into the electric grid. This working group will also examine the role of a distribution system operator in managing new technology integration and system planning and will survey methodologies for valuing new technology impacts to the distribution system, the environment, and the customer.

  • Metering, Communications and Data
  • This working group examines ways to leverage existing technologies, including advanced metering infrastructure, and the capabilities of new communication architecture technologies to enhance customer value and meet the needs of DER and new technology integration. It will also explore pathways to a secure, connected grid and discuss methods and tools required to effectively manage and protect increasing amounts of data.

  • Reliability, Resiliency, and Cyber Security
  • This working group will study existing and new challenges to the physical and cyber security of the electric grid. It will assess the impact of feasible attacks and the suitability of existing solutions to mitigate risks to the grid, in both its current and future state.

  • Customer and Community Participation
  • An exploration of ways to empower all customers to both help shape and fully benefit from the possibilities created by the future grid. Topics covered could include demand response, intelligent devices (IoT), energy efficiency, and DER incentives. The working group will specifically consider the impact of new technologies on underserved customers and communities.

  • Electricity Markets
  • This working group will consider methods to increase customer access to new technologies and stimulate distribution-level market participation. It will explore market-based platform transactions that the grid can enable and will also study ways to enhance consumer access to Illinois’ competitive retail markets.

  • Regulatory and Environmental Policy Issues
  • This working group will consider the efficacy of current environmental programs and explore the ability to leverage grid technologies and distributed energy resources to support environmental objectives. It will also examine regulatory enablers that support innovation through research, development, and demonstration of technologies that provide new value to customers.

  • Ratemaking
  • NextGrid’s final working group will consider rate structures and regulatory models to enable and support the vision of the future grid developed through the study. In particular, it will assess alternative rate structures as viable additions or modifications to EIMA, components of a DER benefit cost analysis, and utility revenue recovery models to develop near and long-term recommendations.