June 12, 2019

States Preparing for New Standards for a Smarter Grid

Over the next few years, states and utilities across the U.S. will have to implement new national standards for interconnection of clean energy technologies, which will transform how solar, wind, energy storage and other “distributed” energy resources function on the grid. Here’s a look at what some early states are doing to prepare.

As originally published on 6/3/19 in SolarNovus Today

Writen by Brian Lydic, Chief Regulatory Engineer for IREC

It isn’t news that more American homes, businesses and communities are adopting clean energy technologies – solar, wind, energy storage and electric vehicles – as they recognize the environmental, economic, resiliency and public health benefits.

What we don’t hear much about are the challenges associated with interconnecting these distributed energy resources (DER) with the electric distribution system, while maintaining grid safety and reliability.

Interconnection standards are the ‘rules of the road’ for DERs connecting to the electricity grid, and they have a considerable impact on the overall cost and time to develop projects. As the amount of DERs increases, new technologies and practices are necessary to accommodate them in an efficient manner, while also optimizing their benefits to customers and the grid.

Last year, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) made significant updates to its national standard for DER interconnection, specifically to enable significantly higher penetrations of distributed energy resources on the grid. Over the next few years, states across the U.S. will have to adopt and implement the IEEE Standard 1547-2018 for Interconnection and Interoperability of Distributed Energy Resources with Associated Electric Power Systems Interfaces.

Navigating technical and policy issues

Earlier this year, IREC published Making the Grid Smarter: State Primer on Adopting the New IEEE Standard 1547-2018 for Distributed Energy Resources. IREC’s new resource will help states, regulators and other stakeholders navigate the related technical and policy issues they will need to address. IREC’s Model Interconnection Procedures are also available, with an update to these procedures forthcoming in 2019.

Read the article in its entirety.