Lessons from the Front Line: Principles and Recommendations for Large-scale and Distributed Energy Interconnection Reform
The United States solar industry continues to rapidly expand, but outdated interconnection policies pose a major threat to solar and storage deployment across the nation. Because solar power is one of the lowest-cost resources for electricity and because solar paired with storage is also a way for customers to supply their own clean power and save money when compared with distribution utility costs, applications to interconnect solar and energy storage projects have skyrocketed.
Interconnection policies in regional transmission organizations (“RTOs”), vertically integrated utilities, and distributed utilities have not kept pace with the demands of this new energy marketplace. Interconnection procedures designed for the by-gone thermal generation era are not aligned with today’s advanced technologies, and interconnection delays now constitute a major threat toward meeting state and national clean energy goals.
This paper advances a series of reform principles, as well as near-term and longer-term interconnection reform recommendations.