After more than two years, Minnesota’s updated interconnection rules are the result of work at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), by IREC, Fresh Energy and the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC). In May 2016, the three organizations jointly petitioned the PUC to initiate a proceeding to establish new interconnection standards that better align with the current market for distributed generation, and to achieve greater consistency with national best practices.
Like a new Broadway hit, the debut of the Empire State’s ambitious regulatory initiative, Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), has garnered much fanfare and intrigue. And, rightly so, considering its lofty objectives to transform the energy sector in the state by integrating high volumes of distributed energy resources (DERs) into the electric system, among other goals.
They say history repeats itself. This rang true last month when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) updated the federal interconnection standards. Essentially, the new rules provide a more nuanced approach to interconnection, enabling faster, more efficient review to keep up with a growing, evolving and ever-more complex market.
Last week, we saw an important shift in interconnection policy as the federal Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP) were updated for the first time since their initial adoption in 2005. We have been working for nearly two years to build stakeholder consensus at FERC on the changes adopted last week, which follow the example set by leading states such as California, Hawaii and Massachusetts. It is a monumental accomplishment, symbolically and substantively.
FERC Announces Rule Changes to Facilitate More Efficient Interconnections for Small Renewable Energy Systems
In a far-reaching decision on November 21, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) adopted significant modifications to the agency’s Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP), which should facilitate a more efficient interconnection process for small renewable generators. IREC worked in both California and Hawaii on the development of this improved process and believes it will help maintain the efficiency of the interconnection process across the country.