Massachusetts regulators issued an order Sept. 28 opening an investigation into the current standards and procedures by which distributed generation projects are interconnected to the electric distribution system.
There has been a marked increase in distributed generation interconnection applications submitted to utilities over the past several years, the state Department of Public Utilities said, noting that legislative and regulatory changes have created a favorable setting for the development of distributed generation projects based on renewable technologies.
The DPU noted that in August, the state Department of Energy Resources filed a petition requesting that the DPU open a proceeding on distributed generation interconnection. The DOER also filed a report that identified various issues associated with the current distributed generation interconnection standards and application procedure, and proposed a redesign of the interconnection process in order to facilitate the growth of distributed generation in the state.
The DPU said that it has worked in the past through the now-disbanded state distributed generation interconnection collaborative, which developed interconnection standards, policies and procedures for distributed generation. Those efforts led to the implementation of a model interconnection tariff used by each electric distribution company for interconnecting distributed generation. However, the DPU added, changes in the state involving energy may call for revisions to the model interconnection tariff.
The DPU said it seeks comments on the appropriate scope of the proceeding, including distributed generation interconnection issues that should be addressed, as well as on what procedural mechanisms are best suited to investigate such issues.
Initial written comments are due by Oct. 28, with reply comments due by Nov. 14.