Interconnection Resources

For more information on interconnection best practices and some of the topics covered in the Freeing the Grid interconnection grades and state recommendations, we invite you to explore the following resources:

This webinar features a presentation and panel discussion exploring key findings from IREC’s newly released Freeing the Grid report.

The webinar covers: 

  • An overview of the Freeing the Grid interconnection scoring criteria and methodology;
  • Key takeaways from the 2023 interconnection grades; and
  • A discussion of how states can improve their interconnection rules. 

This Toolkit was developed under the Building A Technically Reliable Interconnection Evolution for Storage (BATRIES) project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. This project identified and developed solutions to regulatory and technical barriers to the interconnection of energy storage and solar-plus-storage systems to the distribution grid. The Toolkit documents these solutions and includes related model language that regulators and utilities can use to more easily implement these best practices in their state interconnection rules. The project was led by IREC IREC in close collaboration a team of industry-leading partners (the Electric Power Research Institute, the Solar Energy Industries Association, the California Solar & Storage Association, utilities New Hampshire Electric Cooperative Inc. and PacifiCorp, and law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, LLP). 

IREC’s Model Interconnection Procedures, 2023 includes the latest best practices to enable faster and less costly interconnection of DERs, while maintaining safety and reliability. First developed in 2005, IREC’s model procedures are a proven tool for helping states and regions achieve their clean energy goals.

This paper is designed to help readers understand the variety of issues and decisions that need to be considered as a public-facing hosting capacity analysis (HCA) is developed—in order to ensure it is useful in informing the integration of more DERs on the grid. IREC has been actively involved in regulatory proceedings and research projects related to HCA development around the country, including in California, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Minnesota. These experiences yielded a number of lessons about the factors necessary to produce a useful analysis which other states can leverage to maximize the success of their HCA efforts.

IREC hosted a webinar on October 6, 2021 covering the Key Decisions for Hosting Capacity Analyses paper (linked above). Speakers Yochi Zakai, Sky Stanfield, and Radina Valova discussed key decisions in the development of an HCA, the implications of these decisions on the final HCA and how useful it is to support the deployment of DERs, including both generation (e.g., solar and storage) and load (e.g., transportation and building electrification), and real-world examples from states that have already navigated the HCA development process.

IREC and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) partnered to identify best practices for producing trusted, validated HCA results reflecting real-world grid conditions. This report identifies best practices for utilities to develop or refine their HCA data validation procedures, aids regulators in their oversight of utilities’ HCA data validation practices, and helps other stakeholders evaluate the effectiveness of HCA data.

IEEE 1547-2018 is a technical standard that establishes how DERs—like solar and energy storage—can connect to the grid. In particular, it establishes interconnection requirements for smart inverters, whose advanced “grid support” functions can help the grid accommodate higher levels of renewable energy. This checklist can help regulators, utility staff, and other DER stakeholders navigate the key decisions they need to make in order to align interconnection rules with IEEE 1547-2018.

Additional resources, including related blog posts and articles, can be found on IREC’s Interconnection webpage and IREC’s Hosting Capacity Analysis webpage

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