Knowledge is Power: Access to Grid Data Improves the Interconnection Experience for All

In part 4 of IREC’s interconnection series in GreenTech Media, Erica McConnell, former special counsel and Cathy Malina, environmental law fellow with Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger LLP, attorneys for IREC, look at why information sharing is so crucial for making sensible investments in distributed resources.

At the start of any journey, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the road ahead. A detailed map and a good set of directions show us the distance we plan to travel and the landmarks we’ll see along the way.

Even after we’ve hit the road, GPS technology and social media platforms keep us, and people we’re meeting, apprised of our progress in real time. And traffic reports help us spot bottlenecks in advance, so we can avoid logjams and find the best alternative routes.

Without a doubt, information about the road ahead helps us travel more efficiently and ensures a smoother ride toward our final destination.

The same is true for interconnection. Greater knowledge and visibility into our electricity system at the start of the process — and the use of tracking and information-sharing tools once the process is underway — help the queue move efficiently and ensure a smoother journey for renewable energy and other distributed energy resources connecting to the grid.

Just as we reach for mapping technologies when we’re on the road, there are many proven and emerging tools that applicants, utilities and regulators can use to improve transparency and access to grid data in the interconnection process.

Read the full article.


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