The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has launched a whitepaper detailing the intensive interconnection reforms wanted to quickly decarbonize the electrical energy grid. Throughout the nation, state and federal leaders are doubling down on their clear vitality targets, however distribution utilities and regional transmission organizations (RTO) are struggling to maintain up with overflowing interconnection queues.
The brand new whitepaper, Classes from the Entrance Line: Ideas and Suggestions for Massive-scale and Distributed Power Interconnection Reforms, discusses the assorted alternatives utilities and regulators should standardize, automate and make clear interconnection procedures and insurance policies.
“If we don’t make main strides on interconnection reforms within the subsequent few years, it is going to be not possible to realize our extra aggressive state and nationwide clear vitality targets,” states Sean Gallagher, vp of state and regulatory affairs at SEIA. “Enhancing mission interconnection should turn into an pressing precedence for the Federal Power Regulatory Fee, distribution utilities and state commissions if we need to construct an equitable clear vitality economic system this decade.”
The important thing to avoiding interconnection logjams is offering corporations with extra details about transmission and distribution grid operations. The insurance policies should additionally construct in accountability and penalties for utility inaction. New cost-sharing fashions for transmission and distribution system upgrades will make it simpler to attach tasks to the grid and cut back general mission prices.
Making a central database for interconnection improve prices will assist mission builders make extra knowledgeable choices when contemplating an interconnection utility submission. Higher transparency will make clear utility overhead prices and create downward pricing stress on monopolistic utilities that don’t presently have any incentives or necessities to reveal pricing info.
“Transparency is a very powerful a part of interconnection reform,” says David Gahl, govt director of the Photo voltaic and Storage Industries Institute (SI2) and SEIA’s former senior director of state coverage, East. “Firms are left at the hours of darkness in the case of grid planning and the way a lot infrastructure upgrades may cost, rising the probability that interconnection functions will likely be withdrawn. This whitepaper lays out the numerous methods lawmakers and regulators can remove this guessing recreation and put us on a path to reaching the president’s local weather targets.”
Utilities and RTOs ought to standardize queue administration processes and give attention to hiring extra workers members with devoted experience, the whitepaper says. Net-based portals that allow on-line utility submissions and fast info exchanges may also assist to streamline the interconnection course of. As well as, utilities and RTOs ought to automate as a lot of the processes as attainable to cut back delays and velocity the time it takes to course of and examine functions.
In the long run, the whitepaper says regulators ought to think about extra systemic adjustments for RTOs and utilities like versatile interconnection agreements. These agreements, already in place in Europe, can be utilized to attach the useful resource to the grid with out main infrastructure prices.
SEIA’s regulatory affairs specialists have been partaking with the Federal Power Regulatory Fee (FERC) on its transmission and interconnection dockets, and lately submitted suggestions to FERC’s Joint Federal-State Job Pressure on Electrical Transmission. FERC is anticipated to publish a proposed rule that may cowl lots of the identical matters raised on this whitepaper.
Learn the whitepaper here.