Right now the Photo voltaic Vitality Industries Affiliation (SEIA) 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 (RTOs) are struggling to maintain up with overflowing interconnection queues.
The brand new whitepaper, “Classes from the Entrance Line: Rules and Suggestions for Giant-scale and Distributed Vitality Interconnection Reforms,” discusses the varied alternatives utilities and regulators need to 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 unimaginable to attain our extra aggressive state and nationwide clear vitality targets,” stated Sean Gallagher, VP of state and regulatory affairs at SEIA. “Enhancing mission interconnection should change into an pressing precedence for the Federal Vitality 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 firms 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 initiatives to the grid and scale back total mission prices.
Making a central database for interconnection improve prices will assist mission builders make extra knowledgeable selections 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 at the moment have any incentives or necessities to reveal pricing info.
“Transparency is an important a part of interconnection reform,” stated David Gahl, govt director of the Photo voltaic and Storage Industries Institute (SI2) and SEIA’s former senior director of state coverage, East. “Corporations are left at midnight in the case of grid planning and the way a lot infrastructure upgrades may cost a little, growing the probability that interconnection purposes might be withdrawn. This whitepaper lays out the various 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 concentrate on hiring extra workers members with devoted experience, the whitepaper says. Net-based portals that allow on-line utility submissions and speedy info exchanges will even assist to streamline the interconnection course of. As well as, utilities and RTOs ought to automate as a lot of the processes as potential to scale back delays and velocity the time it takes to course of and examine purposes.
In the long run, the whitepaper says regulators ought to contemplate 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 consultants have been participating with the Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee (FERC) on its transmission and interconnection dockets, and not too long ago submitted suggestions to FERC’s Joint Federal-State Job Power on Electrical Transmission. On June 16, FERC is predicted to publish a proposed rule that can cowl lots of the identical matters raised on this whitepaper.
Information merchandise from SEIA