Interconnection standards are the legal rules and procedures for “plugging” a renewable energy system into the power grid. This includes the technical and contractual terms that both system owners and utilities must follow.
Generally, the distribution utility must study and approve a proposed renewable energy system within a framework established by the state’s public utilities commission. Utilities traditionally have determined which systems may connect to the grid and under what circumstances. This arrangement can result in significant barriers to customer-sited renewable energy. Wherever interconnection standards are unclear, or where redundant or unnecessary tests or steps are piled on the existing national standards, the results can be costly.
To eliminate the potential for utility interference, the interconnection process must be governed by a transparent, non-arbitrary set of rules.