Posts Tagged ‘Sky Stanfield’

7 December

Ohio Joins Top States Improving Interconnection Procedures for Renewables

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Since I grew up in the state of Ohio, it is with great fondness that I am sharing this email from Ruth Fein of IREC (Interstate Renewable Energy Council) yesterday, to be shared, below:

December 6, 2013
Ruth Fein : ruthw@irecusa.org

Sun Above Cloud (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Ohio Joins Top States Improving Interconnection Procedures for Renewables

Ohio joins the ranks of progressive states like California, Hawaii and Massachusetts this week as the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio adopted greatly improved interconnection procedures that make it easier for small renewable energy systems to connect to the distribution grid.

The decision comes on the heels of a similar move by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which adopted many of the same provisions in a recent revision of the federal Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP)., available at FERC.

“Ohio’s decision represents a very positive step forward for the deployment of clean energy in the state,” said Jane Weissman, president and CEO of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC). “It makes it possible for more individuals and businesses to benefit from renewable energy and sets a great example for other states that may be considering improvements to their interconnection processes.”

With a steady increase in the number of small renewable energy systems connecting to the distribution grid, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that they can do so in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner.

“These updates will really help streamline the interconnection process,” said Sky Stanfield an attorney who represents IREC. “Specifically, they will help developers find high-value locations for siting projects and expand the opportunities for projects to follow an expedited review, all while maintaining the safety, power quality and reliability of the grid.”

IREC participated in the Ohio and FERC rulemaking processes for several months beginning in late 2012.

The Ohio commission’s order adopted many of IREC’s key recommendations and makes the following significant improvements upon the existing rules:

Increases the capacity threshold for simplified Level 1 interconnection review from 10 kilowatt (kW) to 25 kW for inverter-based systems and reduces the initial review time from 1 month to 15 business days;

Adopts flexible size eligibility requirements for Level 2 “Fast Track” interconnection review that expands beyond the current two-megawatt limit, depending on proximity of a generator to a substation and line voltage levels;
Implements a uniform, well-defined supplemental review process for applications that may fail one or more initial review Fast Track screens, but that do not impose challenges significant enough to warrant a more extensive study process;

Adopts the emerging best practice of using 100% of minimum load as a penetration screen in the supplemental review process; and

Requires utilities to provide interested customers with a pre-application report, for a $300 flat fee, to help identify areas on the grid that will accommodate distributed generation.

This proactive approach makes Ohio the first state to update its rules since FERC’s approval of the SGIP modifications. While Ohio had a head start on the revision process, the adoption of these new state rules so soon after the FERC’s order encourages a broader move among states to incorporate similar updates for small generator system interconnections into their own state procedures.

About IREC
IREC is a non-profit organization that believes clean energy is critical to achieving a sustainable and economically strong future. To pave this clean energy path, IREC works to expand consumer access to clean energy; generates information and objective analysis grounded in best practices and standards; and leads programs to build a quality clean energy workforce, including a unique credentialing program for training programs and instructors. Since 1982, IREC’s programs and policies have benefitted energy consumers, policymakers, utilities and the clean energy industry. As of July 2013, IREC is an accredited American National Standards Developer. For more information, visit http://www.irecusa.org
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gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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25 November

Good News From FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!

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Great news to share with you: a response to the recent release from FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) below:

NEWS FOR RELEASE

Sun Through Cloud (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Contact: Sky Stanfield

sstanfield@kfwlaw.com

This release is in response to the announcement and summary provided by FERC on Nov. 21st, the final rule language and decision have not yet been released.

FERC Announces Rule Changes to Facilitate More Efficient Interconnections for Small Renewable Energy Systems

November 22, 2013 – In a far-reaching decision, yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) adopted significant modifications to the agency’s Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP), which should facilitate a more efficient interconnection process for small renewable generators.

“FERC’s rule changes are an important step forward for interconnection in the United States,” said Jane Weissman, president and CEO of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).  “The changes will enable utilities to more effectively process applications for small generators, while maintaining the safety and reliability of the interconnection process – critically important as the country begins to experience a greater penetration of renewables on transmission and distribution circuits.”

The final language of the rule has not yet been released, but based upon the summary provided by FERC, two particularly significant modifications to the review process were authorized that will enable a greater number of small renewable generators to safely interconnect quickly without the need for a lengthy study process.

First, the current SGIP Fast Track size limit was modified by adopting an approach pioneered by IREC’s work. Instead of utilizing a single threshold across the entire system, IREC proposed adopting a size limit that would vary depending upon the generator type, the voltage of the line at the point of interconnection, the thickness of the wire, and the generator’s distance from the substation.

IREC developed this approach after hearing from utilities across the country regarding the relevant factors that determine what size generator can safely interconnect at different points on the system without the need for detailed study.  Instead of limiting Fast Track access to generators sized below 2 MWs, the newly adopted rule will allow certain appropriately located, inverter-based generators up to 5 MWs to interconnect using this expedited process.

Second, in response to the growing volume of interconnection applications and the number of circuits that are starting to see high penetrations of renewables, FERC modified the supplemental review process to incorporate a 100 percent of minimum load screen along with two additional technical screens that evaluate a generators’ impact on safety, reliability and power quality.

Under this modified rule, if a generator fails any of the initial Fast Track review screens, including the contested 15 percent of peak load screen, it can choose to be reviewed under the supplemental review screens rather than proceeding to full study.

“IREC helped to develop these proposed changes through active engagement with a wide range of stakeholders across the country,” said Sky Stanfield of Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, LLP, who represents IREC in regulatory matters. “We believe these changes at the federal level reflect best practices on interconnection and will act as a model for state procedures across the country.”  Michael Sheehan, an electrical engineer working on behalf of IREC, agrees.  “These updated rules will ensure that small renewable projects meet the safety and reliability needs of both the energy end-user and the utility.”

IREC worked in both California and Hawaii on the development of this improved process and believes it will help maintain the efficiency of the interconnection process across the country.

In its ruling, FERC also adopted an innovative Pre-Application Report that will enable generators to access greater information about existing system conditions prior to submitting a formal application. This process is expected to reduce the overall volume of interconnection requests and help make more efficient use of the existing distribution system. IREC assisted with the development of this process in California and Massachusetts and strongly supports its adoption at FERC.

Finally, FERC’s rule modifications allow generators the opportunity to comment on any upgrades that are determined by the utility to be necessary for interconnection of their system.

About IREC

IREC is a non-profit organization that believes clean energy is critical to achieving a sustainable and economically strong future. To pave this clean energy path, IREC works to expand consumer access to clean energy; generates information and objective analysis grounded in best practices and standards; and leads programs to build a quality clean energy workforce, including a unique credentialing program for training programs and instructors. Since 1982, IREC’s programs and policies have benefitted energy consumers, policymakers, utilities and the clean energy industry. As of July 2013, IREC is an accredited American National Standards Developer. For more information, visit http://www.irecusa.org

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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