The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has formally accepted a report, entitled Grid Modernization Study: New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which features a full set of suggestions, and approved the general public launch of the report.
In recommending the board’s acceptance of the report, employees indicated that the report outlines a framework for modernizing the grid, and its suggestions would considerably enhance New Jersey’s interconnection guidelines.
The state’s grid modernization initiative included analysis into comparable state applications and rising applied sciences, group and execution of a complete collection of stakeholder conferences, and information requests for particular data from New Jersey’s Electrical Distribution Corporations (EDCs), which all culminated within the report’s suggestions to switch sure interconnection requirements. Modifying these requirements will allow better adoption of fresh power sources wanted to fulfill New Jersey’s clear power targets by bettering how they’re related to the electrical grid.
“This report and its suggestions are very important to the method of modernizing the grid in order that our many new sources of fresh power like photo voltaic, in addition to power storage, can extra simply join now and into the long run,” says NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “I want to thank board employees and our marketing consultant Guidehouse for his or her laborious work on a particularly necessary subject, and to our stakeholder group who offered invaluable suggestions all through the method.”
Additional, the board directed employees to launch for public remark a draft of the proposed rule adjustments wanted to implement suggestions 1 by 4 within the report that might modify the interconnection guidelines. These modifications would offer near-term reduction from the problems that impede larger charges of interconnection approval for distributed power sources (DER), equivalent to photo voltaic and power storage.
Workers has additionally been directed to provoke the evaluation and stakeholder enter course of wanted to kick begin the rule making course of for suggestions 5-9, that are long run suggestions. These suggestions are usually extra advanced and would require further evaluation and stakeholder enter previous to being included right into a second rulemaking continuing. A few of these longer-term enhancements might require legislative motion.
The ultimate report was developed by Guidehouse Inc., which developed the doc by a sturdy public course of, which included 5 stakeholder conferences over the past 12 months.
Close to-term suggestions from the report embrace making certain New Jersey is aligned with the most recent grid interconnection requirements of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). It recommends streamlining and automating the interconnection utility course of together with an interconnection dispute decision course of. It additionally pushes to boost internet hosting capability methodology, internet hosting capability and map information granularity, minimal replace intervals, and presentation consistency. This would come with the electrical distribution firms (EDC) offering a uniform value information information for system upgrades.
The suggestions name for designing and implementing an EDC pre-application course of in accordance with NJBPU necessities, which can present the chance to expedite renewables and storage interconnection. The method ought to allow key data affecting undertaking viability to be exchanged between the EDC and the client previous to initiating a normal interconnection assessment.
Lengthy-term suggestions from the report embrace NJBPU creating a steering committee and convene working teams and activity forces to additional reform the interconnection and grid modernization course of. The steering committee ought to advocate instruments and an strategy for a “regulatory sandbox” to check for “fail or scale” of latest applied sciences and processes.
Knowledgeable by a stakeholder course of initiated by NJBPU, NJ EDCs ought to implement a streamlined versatile queue course of throughout EDCs which would come with a mechanism to prioritize a “first prepared, first by” strategy. This may assist extra viable tasks and keep away from clogging the queue for Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 tasks, whereas making certain fairness and equity within the queue.
NJBPU ought to set up a steering committee and dealing teams to analysis and advocate further value restoration choices past the legacy cost-causer strategy. Options, which adjust to the idea of prudently incurred prices and don’t systematically favor personal, unregulated builders at ratepayers’ expense ought to be researched.
NJBPU ought to direct the EDCs to develop built-in distribution plans (IDP) per the NJ Power Grasp Plan (NJEMP) and may present path to the EDCs concerning data to be included as minimal submitting necessities of their IDP / IDER (built-in distributed power useful resource) plans. NJBPU ought to present a rulemaking that non-renewable gas sources ought to be individually metered from renewable sources, and can’t be mixed for web metering functions. This may enable renewable era homeowners to obtain full credit score with out penalty for co-located non-renewable sources, and with out sacrificing useful resource sufficiency.
Proposed rule adjustments for the suggestions will likely be submitted to the Workplace of Administrative Legislation (OAL) for publication within the New Jersey Register. The board will contemplate public feedback acquired earlier than adopting closing rule adjustments and publishing them within the New Jersey Register. The rule proposal for the near-term suggestions will likely be submitted to OAL after receiving public touch upon the draft rule language. The rule proposal for the long-term suggestions will likely be developed following a sturdy stakeholder engagement course of and submitted when the proposal is developed.