SEIA Details Reforms Needed to Alleviate Solar Power Interconnection Bottlenecks

The Photo voltaic Vitality Industries Affiliation (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 power objectives, 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: Rules and Suggestions for Massive-scale and Distributed Vitality Interconnection Reforms, discusses the assorted alternatives utilities and regulators must 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 inconceivable to realize our extra aggressive state and nationwide clear power objectives,” states Sean Gallagher, vice chairman of state and regulatory affairs at SEIA. “Enhancing challenge interconnection should grow to be an pressing precedence for the Federal Vitality Regulatory Fee, distribution utilities and state commissions if we wish to construct an equitable clear power 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 scale back total challenge prices.

Making a central database for interconnection improve prices will assist challenge builders make extra knowledgeable selections when contemplating an interconnection software 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 data.

“Transparency is an important 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. “Corporations are left in the dead of night on the subject of grid planning and the way a lot infrastructure upgrades may cost a little, growing the probability that interconnection functions shall be withdrawn. This whitepaper lays out the numerous methods lawmakers and regulators can get rid of this guessing recreation and put us on a path to reaching the president’s local weather objectives.”

Utilities and RTOs ought to standardize queue administration processes and give attention to hiring extra employees members with devoted experience, the whitepaper says. Internet-based portals that allow on-line software submissions and speedy data 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 potential to scale back delays and velocity the time it takes to course of and examine functions.

In the long run, the whitepaper says regulators ought to take into account extra systemic modifications 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 Vitality Regulatory Fee (FERC) on its transmission and interconnection dockets, and not too long ago submitted suggestions to FERC’s Joint Federal-State Activity Drive on Electrical Transmission. FERC is predicted to publish a proposed rule that may cowl lots of the identical matters raised on this whitepaper.

Learn the whitepaper right here.