IREC’s 2015 Annual Trends Report presents a deep look at the stories behind the year’s national clean energy headlines. It offers an informative, independent perspective on the year’s renewable energy and energy efficiency progress and challenges across the U.S., and the activities, research, publications, expert insight and recommendations that are helping shape our clean energy future.
Say you’re thinking about adding another story onto an old house. You probably wouldn’t want to start building without first having a structural engineer make some calculations to ensure the house could support the addition. Now keep that image in mind as you consider interconnection policy as one of the main load-bearing walls in our solar market “house.” If not properly designed to match the growing market conditions, state interconnection policies may cause the house to come crashing down…or at least cause some major cracks to form.
Along with the season’s time-honored traditions, comes time to pause and reflect on the past year and year to come. Here’s a closer look at what we can expect to play out in the national regulatory arena next year. It’s definitely shaping up to be an energetic year.
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.