WASHINGTON, DC — As we speak, the Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee (FERC) issued a Discover of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) outlining the proposed interconnection reforms the fee intends to undertake to handle interconnection backlogs and adoption to speed up clear vitality.

The proposed guidelines observe intently frequent suggestions that the Photo voltaic Vitality Industries Affiliation (SEIA) and its companions introduced in February 2022 on the reform of the affiliation. SEIA not too long ago defined and expanded on these feedback in a single Connection white paper it was launched earlier this week.

FERC has made various smart proposals, together with:
Fastened deadlines for utilities conducting connection research;
New processes for connection research that concurrently study the affect of various tasks making an attempt to hook up with the facility grid, also referred to as the usual cluster research;
Research primarily based on actual working circumstances for renewable vitality producers; and
Clear and standardized research processes for affected methods.

Beneath is a press release from Ben Norris, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at SEIA, on the event:

“We’re happy that the Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee (FERC) is taking daring motion to eradicate connection queues throughout the nation which have grown to greater than a terawatt of era and storage tasks. SEIA has lengthy advocated modifications to the interconnection course of and we’re happy to see that FERC has adopted lots of SEIA’s suggestions.

“Interconnection challenges have simmered beneath the floor for years and right this moment stay one of many best obstacles to reaching our state and federal clear vitality targets. We commend FERC for bringing this situation entrance and heart and taking motion earlier than it is too late.

“Probably the most vital a part of these reforms is the built-in accountability for utilities. For years, utility corporations have been hesitant about interconnection, and this rulemaking would introduce deadlines for finishing interconnection research and impose penalties for utility inaction. It will add extra predictability and transparency to the method and considerably scale back overview instances. We additionally imagine that the cluster research, modifications to the affected system research and a extra practical take a look at the working circumstances for renewable vitality producers will considerably enhance the interconnection course of.

“All of those proposed reforms are a big step ahead and can assist considerably enhance effectivity and scale back the variety of purposes withdrawn. They may even assist scale back total challenge prices and additional drive down the price of inexpensive clear vitality.

“We stay up for supporting these suggestions and persevering with to work with FERC on the numerous alternatives they’ve to enhance interconnection on the distribution and transmission layers.”

Press launch courtesy of SEIA.

earlier within the week that White Paper Press Launch:

WASHINGTON, DC — On Thursday, June 16, the Photo voltaic Vitality Industries Affiliation (SEIA) launched a white paper detailing the sweeping interconnection reforms wanted to quickly decarbonize the facility grid. Throughout the nation, state and federal leaders are doubling down on their clear vitality targets, however utilities and regional transmission organizations (RTOs) are struggling to maintain up with crowded connection queues.

the brand new white paper, Classes from the Frontline: Ideas and Suggestions for Giant-Scale and Distributed Energy Hyperlink Reformsdiscusses the assorted methods utilities and regulators must standardize, automate, and make clear interconnection procedures and insurance policies.

“Except we make main strides in interconnection reforms over the following few years, will probably be unimaginable to satisfy our extra aggressive state and nationwide clear vitality targets,” stated Sean Gallagher, vp of presidency and regulatory affairs at SEIA. “Bettering challenge connectivity should turn into an pressing precedence for the Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee, utilities and state commissions if we’re to construct an equitable clear vitality financial system this decade.”

The decarbonization of the facility grid requires in depth reforms #Interconnection pointers.

A brand new SEIA white paper describes methods to enhance interconnection practices and handle the overflow of queued tasks: https://t.co/SIrfxzs7yy pic.twitter.com/KP6kGZOd1d

— Photo voltaic Trade (@SEIA) June 15, 2022

The important thing to avoiding connection blockages is to offer corporations with extra details about the operation of transmission and distribution networks. Insurance policies should additionally embrace accountability and penalties for utility inaction. New cost-sharing fashions for upgrading transmission and distribution methods will make it simpler to attach tasks to the grid and scale back total challenge prices.

Establishing a central database of interconnection improve prices will assist challenge builders make extra knowledgeable selections when contemplating submitting an interconnection utility. Higher transparency will make clear utility overheads and create downward pricing stress on monopolistic utilities that presently haven’t 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. “Enterprises are left at nighttime relating to community planning and the way a lot infrastructure upgrades may cost a little, growing the chance that interconnection requests will likely be withdrawn. This white paper highlights the numerous methods lawmakers and regulators can eradicate that guessing recreation and put us on observe to satisfy the President’s local weather targets.”

Utilities and RTOs ought to standardize queue administration processes and concentrate on hiring extra staff with devoted experience, the white paper states. Net-based portals, permitting on-line utility submission and speedy info alternate, may even assist to streamline the interconnection course of. Moreover, utilities and RTOs ought to automate as many processes as attainable to scale back delays and scale back the time it takes to course of and overview purposes.

In the long run, the whitepaper says, regulators ought to think about systemic modifications for RTOs and utilities, equivalent to: B. versatile interconnection agreements. These agreements, which exist already in Europe, can be utilized to attach the useful resource to the grid with out main infrastructure prices.

SEIA’s regulatory specialists have engaged with and not too long ago submitted the Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee (FERC)’s transmission and interconnection filings Suggestions to the FERC Joint Federal-State Process Drive on Electrical Transmission. On June 16, FERC is anticipated to launch a proposed rule that may cowl lots of the points mentioned on this whitepaper.

Featured picture from associated story: 5 grid plans to scale back dependency on fossil fuels.


 

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