What is Interconnection and Why it Matters
Over the past decade, IREC has worked with dozens of states across the country to facilitate and support the adoption of fundamental regulatory policy reforms that maintain the safety and reliability of the electric grid, while also allowing for fair, affordable and efficient consumer access to renewable energy. Central to our efforts is a concerted focus on interconnection standards – the technical protocols that govern the processes by which renewable energy projects connect with the electric grid.
What exactly is the consumer connection?
Having updated, best practice interconnection rules and policies in place means more clean energy resources can come on-line faster, without costly, time-consuming delays. It also means fewer conflicts, backlogs and an improved experience for utilities, regulators, developers and consumers alike.
Interconnection rules and policies protect consumers by ensuring safe, reliable connection to the electric grid, enabling them to benefit from their renewable energy investments.
As with all standards, interconnection processes are constantly evolving and changing, particularly as demand for renewable energy grows, penetration increases, and as technologies and protocols evolve.
While no simple task to update these complex standards, the merits of staying ahead of the curve are substantial, as more and more states run into challenges stemming from outdated interconnection standards.
As IREC moves into 2016, we look forward to continuing our efforts to work with local partners in many states to guide and inform the adoption of best practice interconnection standards that match, or even exceed, national best practices. We are hopeful that more states will take positive steps toward updated and improved interconnection to enable renewable energy market growth without the growing pains.