The destruction caused by Maria offers Puerto Rico the chance to “leapfrog their energy system to the next generation of electric grids,” said Larry Sherwood, president and CEO of IREC.
Interconnecting DERs to the distribution grid is generally a “cost-causer pays” system: consumers who want solar pay for necessary distribution system upgrades, even when the upgrades will likely support future interconnection projects. What’s more, future projects benefit from investment in the grid’s infrastructure and could escape upgrade fees. Economics and fairness theories aside, this practice can kill perfectly viable and beneficial projects that didn’t budget for high upgrade costs and cause major delays in the process.
The comprehensive Rule 21 Order adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) provides numerous innovations to mitigate costs associated with connecting clean energy to the grid, facilitates a clear process for interconnecting energy storage systems, and enables implementation of smart inverter functionality.
Fearing a potential shortage of reactive power, PJM last week won stakeholder support for an initiative to consider requiring that renewable resources add technology capable of providing grid support.