SEIA lays out its vision for US interconnection reform, suggests sweeping adjustments at numerous levels

Jun 16, 2022 06:06 PM ET
  • The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has actually released a whitepaper detailing the reforms it thinks are needed to the US interconnection system, in which it outlines a collection of proposals for both regional transmission organisations (RTO) as well as the US-wide Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
SEIA lays out its vision for US interconnection reform, suggests sweeping adjustments at numerous levels
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SEIA said "outdated interconnection policies pose a major threat to solar and storage space release" throughout the United States and that policies "have not kept pace" with the needs of a new energy market that has seen interconnection applications for solar and storage space "escalate".

Poor policy preparation, an outdate grid system and also an absence of investment has protected against hundreds of gigawatts of solar PV from signing up with the grid as well as adding to the decarbonisation of the US' power system, SEIA stated.

Just recently (8 June), the United States Division of Energy launched an effort, called i2X, to relieve the US' substantial interconnection queues, lower wait times as well as lower grid link costs. At the time, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm claimed there had to do with 7,000 GW of solar PV presently sat in queues.

Because of this, SEIA has proposed a variety of steps-- local and also government, near and long-lasting-- to attend to the issue.

For RTOs, SEIA recommended they "add staff, adhere to interconnection timelines and advance required policies associated with planning, forecasting as well as criteria to ensure progression is made toward state and also nationwide clean energy goals".

It additionally called on RTOs and also energies to automate as well as standardise procedures where proper as well as accumulate even more details about facilities upgrade costs for all types of projects and make them easily accessible to designers.

When it concerns interconnection reform for utility-scale projects, SEIA advised FERC to standardise queue administration requirements across RTOs as well as require each RTO to "make better transmission system running details extra available to interconnection clients" and "discover alternating designs for paying for network upgrade expenses."

At the circulation level, SEIA said state regulatory authorities should call for each distribution energy to improve their planning system and perform proactive projecting as well as circumstance development, while likewise giving greater transparency and precision of interconnection quotes of infrastructure upgrade prices making use of hosting capacity maps.

On a federal level, FERC must reform price sharing for facilities upgrades, splitting prices in between interconnection consumers and also other system beneficiaries in addition to boosting project maturation requirements to go into interconnection queues, SEIA said.

Indeed, FERC is today expected to release a recommended rule that will certainly cover many of the topics elevated in SEIA's whitepaper.

" If we do not make major strides on interconnection reforms in the next few years, it will be difficult to achieve our more aggressive state as well as national clean energy objectives," claimed Sean Gallagher, vice president of state and also regulative affairs at SEIA.

" Improving project interconnection need to become an immediate priority for the FERC, distribution utilities as well as state commissions if we intend to construct an equitable clean energy economic climate this decade."

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