Clean energy interconnection processes involve complex regulatory structures, specific jurisdictional authorities, and numerous stakeholders. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has funded many studies that examine existing best practices, develop standards, and aggregate data. The Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) team compiled resources for those working in interconnection below.

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council Freeing the Grid Initiative offers comprehensive insights into interconnection policies across the country, including timelines, costs, and technical prerequisites.  

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Bulk-Power System Interconnection Queue Data and Analysis sheds light on the increasing volume of projects awaiting interconnection. It outlines the energy sources involved and highlights challenges related to approval timelines and expenses.  

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Retrospective Analysis of Distributed Solar Interconnection Timelines and Related State Mandates examines the patterns of approval timelines for linking residential solar panels setups to the grid.  

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s proposal suggests a series of reforms aimed at addressing shortcomings in the current regional transmission planning and cost allocation requirements. These reforms strive to boost transparency, coordination, and overall efficiency in these procedures. 

The U.S. Department of Energy Wind Energy Technology Office’s Wind Systems Integration Workshop highlights opportunities for improved coordination between wind energy transmission and distribution systems. This includes developing integrated modeling capabilities and improving the visibility of distributed energy resources for transmission operators. 

Aside from i2X, four other working groups aim to improve interconnection: 

Building a Technically Reliable Interconnection Evolution for Storage has introduced the Toolkit and Guidance for the Interconnection of Energy Storage and Solar-Plus-Storage, This resource takes a comprehensive approach by identifying and suggesting solutions to eight distinct barriers that currently hinder energy storage interconnection.  

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducted a cost analysis of interconnection systems with the focus on integrating new generators and storage facilities into the grid. The findings show that while costs are heavily dependent on region, there have been general cost increases due to a surge in connection requests and necessary network enhancements during the interconnection process. As projects advance and undergo detailed studies, cost estimates tend to rise, offering insights into evolving interconnection costs for ISOs and RTOs. Read more about the cost analysis in this summary briefing

Cost analyses are also available for the following regions: 

In 2022, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and the National Renewable Energy Lab introduced the Data Validation for Hosting Capacity Analyses. This guide is designed to establish reliable practices for generating validated results in Hosting Capacity Analyses that accurately mirror actual grid conditions. This resource serves as a foundation for confidently assessing how much extra capacity the electric distribution grid can accommodate for distributed energy resources.  

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Reliability Guideline Improvements to Interconnection Requirements for BPS-Connected Inverter-Based Resources provides utility companies with comprehensive guidelines to enhance interconnection requirements for inverter-based resources linked to the Bulk Power System. By adhering to these guidelines, utility companies can pave the way for more dependable and robust connections. 

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has introduced Educational Resources for IEEE 1547-2018 Standard for “Interconnection and Interoperability of Distributed Energy Resources with Associated Electric Power Systems Interfaces” . This resource is geared towards ensuring seamless interconnection between utility power systems and distributed energy resources. The guide offers insights to utilities and regulators, helping them establish effective rules for interconnection, encompassing performance expectations, and testing protocols.  

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has released the P2800 Standard for “Interconnection and Interoperability of Inverter-Based Resources Interconnecting with Associated Transmission Systems”.  This standard serves as a comprehensive guide for utilities and regulators, offering insights into establishing robust rules for interconnecting inverter-based resources with bulk power systems. By following this guidance, the interconnection process can be streamlined for greater reliability. 

Talk to Our Team   

The i2X team has “office hours” where you can discuss any issues you have with interconnection. Schedule your call today. As this is a limited resource, please only reserve one time slot to allow the team to work with as many groups as possible. 

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