IREC Helps Iowa Improve its Interconnection Standards
After nearly two years, the Hawkeye State recently made some notable improvements to its state interconnection procedures which will make it easier and more streamlined for distributed renewable energy and energy storage projects to connect to the grid.
IREC played a leading role in this effort, working closely with the Iowa Environmental Council and the Environmental Law & Policy Center throughout the proceeding to ensure that the new rules reflect national best practices for interconnection.
Notable improvements include:
1. The adoption of a voluntary pre-application report, which provides granular information about a particular point on a utility’s distribution system (e.g. voltage of the line, available capacity, etc.)
2. An increase the number of projects that can submit streamlined applications by raising the eligibility threshold for Level 1 (“Small Inverter”) and Level 2 (“Fast Track”) review, along with a supplemental review option for projects that don’t pass the initial Fast Track screens which allows them to avoid costly and time-consuming technical studies.
3. The addition of energy storage facilities to the definition of “distributed generation facility,” which gives energy storage a clearer process through which to connect to the grid,
A more detailed summary of the improvements to the rule is available HERE.
In addition, the Iowa Utilities Board website now has the standard forms and a link to the full Chapter 45 interconnection rules, where more detail on each of the above topics can be found: https://iub.iowa.gov/on-site-generation.