3Q 2019

Non-Wires Alternatives Tracker 3Q19

Projects and Trends in the US Non-Wires Alternatives Market

The proliferation of distributed energy resources (DER) technologies across the US is providing grid operators with new mechanisms to address capacity constraints and replace strained and aging transmission and distribution (T&D) grid infrastructure. These non-wires alternatives (NWAs) use DER to provide grid relief sufficient to defer or replace more traditional upgrades. In the US, there is no universal definition for NWA. Navigant Research thus tracks grid operator projects that seek to deploy DER technologies and demand side management (DSM) programs for the purpose of deferring or replacing traditional grid infrastructure upgrades.

The Non-Wires Alternatives Tracker 3Q 2019 follows more than 100 completed and current projects fitting this definition in the US. Given the rise in exploration of NWA projects that began in the early‑to-mid 2010s, Navigant Research believes that these projects are poised to become increasingly used to avoid traditional poles, wires, and pipes upgrades to T&D systems. Information collected for the Tracker is used to explore trends within the emerging NWA market. The study explores regional market growth across the US and the various technologies included in NWAs for grid relief.

This first iteration of the Navigant Research Non-Wires Alternatives Tracker aims to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date database of projects in the US. Information provided for projects tracked includes project name, utility, size, cost, included technologies, status, and more details where available. Navigant Research will continue to update the Tracker as new projects are announced and current projects progress and resolve.
Pages 26
Tables | Charts | Figures 11
  • What is the definition of non-wires alternative (NWA)?
  • At what stages and sizes are the various NWA projects in the US?
  • Where are US NWA projects taking place?
  • What is driving NWA project development?
  • What technologies are most commonly included in existing NWA projects?
  • What utilities have existing NWA projects?
  • What utilities are exploring potential NWA opportunities?
  • What vendors are working on NWA projects?
  • Utilities
  • Energy suppliers
  • Federal and state policymakers
  • State utility regulators
  • Distributed energy resources (DER) technology vendors
  • DER program providers
  • Insurance and financing partners
  • Investor community

1. Executive Summary

1.1   Introduction

1.2   Market Issues

1.3   Market Trends

2. Market Issues 

2.1   Methodology Overview

2.2   Definition of an NWA

2.2.1   NPAs

2.2.2   Difference Between NWAs and Microgrids 

2.2.3   Transmission vs. Distribution NWA

2.2.4   Locating NWA Opportunities

2.2.5   Grid Modernization and NWAs

2.3   Market Activity Through 3Q 2019

2.4   NWA Technology

3. Market Trends

3.1   Introduction

3.2   Technology Trends

3.3   Regional Trends

3.4   Conclusions and Recommendations

3.4.1   Utility Recommendations

3.4.2   Vendor Recommendations

4. Acronym and Abbreviation List

5. Table of Contents

6. Table of Charts and Figures

7. Scope of Study, Sources and Methodology, Notes

  • Share of NWA Projects by State, US: 3Q 2019
  • NWA Spending by Country, US: 2019-2028
  • NWA Location Along the T&D Grid
  • Glossary of Terms
  • NWA Tracker: US Entries Through 3Q 2019
  • Number of NWA Projects by Utility, US: 3Q 2019
  • Number of NWA Projects by State, US: 3Q 2019
  • Number of NWA Projects by Status, US: 3Q 2019
  • Number of NWA Projects by Technology, US: 3Q 2019
  • NWA Spending by Country, US: 2019-2028
  • NWA Spending by Region, World Markets: 2019-2028
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