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FERC to speed up process to connect new generation to grid

  • 14 days ago (2022-06-20)
  • David Flin
North America 913 Transmission 126

In the USA, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a proposed rule to speed up the process for linking new power generation to the grid. It said that this would ease interconnection queue backlogs, add certainty to the process, and prevent discrimination against new generation.

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Rich Glick, Chairman of FERC, said: “We are witnessing unprecedented demand for new resources seeking to interconnect to the transmission grid, and queue delays are hindering customers’ access to new, low-cost generation.”

According to FERC, over 1400 MW of generation and storage across America were in interconnection queues at the end of 2021. FERC said: “This is more than triple the total volume just five years ago. As the resource mix rapidly changes, FERC’s policies must keep pace.” FERC said that inadequate planning has limited renewable generator access to the grid.

One reform would implement a “first-ready, first-served” cluster study process. This measure would have transmission providers perform larger interconnection studies covering “numerous proposed generating facilities” instead of running separate studies for each facility. The proposed rule would also set firm deadlines and establish penalties if transmission providers fail to complete interconnection studies on time, with the exception of force majeure situations.

Staff at FERC also said that interconnection queue processing speed would also increase via a “more detailed affected systems study process.” The revamped process would include specific modelling standards and pro-forma affected system agreements, along with simplified interconnection study requests. The rule would also require transmission providers to allow more than one resource to co-locate on a shared site behind a single point of interconnection and share a single interconnection request.