FERC proposes interconnection reforms to speed up renewables deployment

Jun 20, 2022 02:26 PM ET
  • Solar and energy storage space deployment in the US could be increased under new proposals from the country's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) aimed at resolving substantial stockpiles in interconnection queues.
FERC proposes interconnection reforms to speed up renewables deployment
Image: SB Energy

With new electrical generation projects encountering approximately greater than 3 years to attach to the grid, FERC has proposed reforms to ensure that interconnection consumers can access the grid in an efficient, clear and prompt manner.

The activity attends to the "urgent requirement" to upgrade as well as streamline procedures to adjoin new sources to the grid, claimed FERC chairman Rich Glick, adding: "We are seeing unprecedented demand for new sources looking for to interconnect to the transmission grid, as well as queue delays are hindering customers' access to new, low-priced generation."

At the end of 2021, there were more than 1.4 TW of generation as well as storage waiting in interconnection queues in the US, greater than triple the complete volume simply five years ago, according to FERC.

Among its proposals include a "first-ready, first-served cluster research procedure" in which transmission service providers would carry out larger interconnection researches for countless creating facilities, as opposed to different ones for each and every installation. Such an approach would aid minimise delays, according to FERC.

Another idea would certainly need transmission providers to permit more than one resource to co-locate on a common site behind a single point of interconnection. This, FERC argued, would get rid of barriers for co-located sources by developing a much more reliable standard treatment.

The commission also proposed to enforce firm target dates and also establish penalties if transmission service providers fail to complete interconnection research studies promptly.

The propositions adhere to the Department of Energy releasing recently the Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) campaign, which aims to relieve interconnection queues, lower wait times and reduced grid connection expenses.

According to a white paper released previously today by the Solar power Industries Association (SEIA), an obsolete grid system as well as a lack of financial investment have avoided hundreds of gigawatts of solar PV from attaching to the grid.

Ben Norris, elderly director of regulatory affairs at SEIA, said interconnection difficulties "have actually been simmering below the surface for many years and remain among the largest impediments to satisfying our state as well as government clean energy goals today. We commend FERC for placing this issue front and also centre as well as taking action prior to it's too late."

Norris added that FERC's proposed reforms will certainly minimize application withdrawals as well as lower total project expenses.

There was a total amount of 462GW of solar capacity in US transmission interconnection queues at the end of 2020, according to research released in 2015 by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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