States can handle inadequate internet hosting capability for distributed photo voltaic and storage, disproportionately excessive interconnection prices for some initiatives, and different interconnection limitations, an organization in consulting concluded.
States can use their regulatory authority to assist clear the “interconnection bottleneck” that limits the connection of distributed photo voltaic and storage to the distribution grid, the consultancy Utilized Economics Clinic mentioned in “The Interconnection Bottleneck,” a report for the nonprofit Clear Vitality Group.
The report is predicated on interviews with 15 folks from photo voltaic and storage companies and commerce teams, nonprofits, and state companies, together with an authentic case examine for Massachusetts and a overview of earlier research.
In Massachusetts, greater than 900 MW of proposed distributed vitality useful resource (DER) capability was delayed in 2019 “on account of Nationwide Grid’s DER cluster research, which resulted in a regulatory investigation of the utility,” the report mentioned.
And whereas the annual proposed capability of distributed photo voltaic and storage in Massachusetts elevated eightfold between 2009 and 2022, the annual approved capability, measured by interconnection authorizations, isn’t any greater now than in 2012, and exceeded solely 7 MW per 12 months in 2017 and 2018, the report mentioned.
The report’s authors say the findings from the Massachusetts case examine are “extensively relevant” throughout the U.S.
Massachusetts’ course of for DER interconnection has three elements that “will assist decide the place the method creates limitations to quicker interconnection,” the report says:
- Dedication of internet hosting capability,
- The applicant’s fee of prices, and
- Reconciliation between utilities and challenge candidates on upgrades and adjustments to the system “acceptable to candidates” to obtain a allow to attach.
To enhance internet hosting capability, the report recommends “pro-active, system-wide” interconnection planning that predicts internet hosting capability wants and makes system upgrades to broaden capability to host earlier than interconnection requests exceed present capability.
To keep away from unfair allocation of prices to some prospects, the report advises spreading the prices of upgrading the distribution system over a large set of stakeholders, not simply the initiatives that applies for interconnection, and to find out the allocation of prices “earlier than and individually from” particular particular person or cluster challenge purposes .
For storage assets, the report recommends that interconnection research consider find out how to anticipate storage assets, enable good inverters to manage bidirectional energy flows, and allow predictable charging and discharging from storage techniques. The report cited the “BATRIES” report, ready by a group led by the Interstate Renewable Vitality Council, in making its suggestions.
The report additionally recommends steady iteration to ascertain common enhancements in interconnection processes.
The US Division of Vitality’s i2X initiative will handle DER value allocation and queue administration in a July 26 webinar.
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