BOSTON, MA – A new report from energy consulting firm Daymark Energy Advisors details both the immediate and longer-term reforms needed to ISO-NE's antiquated interconnection process, which is threatening to derail the decarbonization goals of New England states. The process by which energy generation projects connect to the region's power grid, known as interconnection, is inefficient and is driving up costs for ratepayers and preventing many clean energy projects from connecting to the grid altogether.
“For many clean energy developers, the interconnection process in New England has been a dense, dangerous fog and these reforms can be the lighthouse that helps us navigate a better path forward,” said Alex Lawton, Senior Principal at Advanced Energy United (United), the national business association working to achieve 100% clean energy in America, which commissioned this analysis.
Immediate reforms include a restructuring of the interconnection process, improved transparency, and more strict review timelines. The recommendations from Daymark Energy Advisors include ISO-NE adopting the 150-day “cluster study” requirement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)’s recently issued Order 2023. Forward looking reforms beyond Order 2023 are also necessary, the report concludes, and would involve further improvements to information access, cost estimation, and cost allocation methods.
“Efficiently integrating the volume of new resources needed to decarbonize our power grid requires a commitment to innovation from all parties,” said Marc D. Montalvo, CEO of Daymark Energy Advisors.
There are currently around 350 renewables and energy storage projects waiting on ISO-NE's interconnection queue, with the combined potential to add more than 35 gigawatts of new clean energy resources to the grid. Many of these projects are unlikely to reach commercial operation in no small part due to an inefficient, slow, and costly interconnection process. In 2022, it took ISO-NE nearly four times longer to process interconnection requests than it did back in 2005.
“With climate change impacts worsening and a growing need for more energy generation, New England’s grid operator should be doing all it can to ensure reliability by getting more wind, solar, energy storage, and grid-edge technologies online,” added Lawton.
The report from Daymark Energy Advisors is available to review and download at advancedenergyunited.org/NEgridreforms.
- Blog: The Interconnection Process Explained (Oct. 2023)
- Blog: Unpacking FERC Order No. 2023’s Implications for Interconnection Reform (Sept. 2023)