Saying it will help to spur solar deployment nationwide, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) praised a new rule approved Nov. 21 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that will expedite and reduce the cost of solar project interconnection, while maintaining the reliability and safety of the electric grid.
In 2005, FERC issued Order No. 2006, which for the first time established national interconnection procedures applicable to generation projects that are 20 megawatts (MW) or less in size and subject to FERC’s wholesale jurisdiction. Order No. 2006 was groundbreaking, and the procedures were voluntarily adopted by many states to apply to the retail interconnection process. However, demand for solar energy has grown dramatically since the original order was issued more than seven years ago, and certain aspects of the order have resulted in needless barriers to cost-effective and timely interconnections.
The rule approved today will allow solar projects that meet certain technical requirements to qualify for a “fast track” interconnection process, thus eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming studies. Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA, said today’s decision will help to reduce interconnection bottlenecks.