The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has scheduled a technical conference for May 13, 2016, to address potential revisions to its generator interconnection procedures and pro forma generator interconnection agreement. The technical conference presents the first opportunity for a comprehensive review of interconnection issues since Order 2003 and its progeny.1 Of particular import will be needed revisions to interconnection procedures in light of the ever-expanding role of intermittent renewable generation provided by solar and wind.

FERC’s action stems from a petition filed last year by the trade group American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and joined or commented on by approximately 70 other interested parties. Among the reforms AWEA asked FERC to consider are changes to the interconnection study and restudy process, including standardized and enforceable study completion dates; requirements that transmission providers attest to the accuracy and finality of the studies; and limiting restudies to once per year. AWEA also proposed modifications that it argues will improve transparency and accountability in the interconnection process. Finally, AWEA looks to limit network upgrade charges paid by project developers by capping costs at previously established accuracy margins, limiting self-funding of network upgrades by transmission providers and providing compensation for developers who bear the costs of network upgrades that benefit other users.

In addition to the proposals put forward by AWEA, FERC stated that it will also seek input on issues related to the current state of the generator interconnection queue process, the effect of project changes or withdrawals on the queues, and whether interconnection rules need to be revised to meet the potential demands of energy storage facilities.  

Information about the technical conference, including registration, can be found in the FERC notice.