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RTO Insider: Advanced Energy United Urges Changes Beyond Order 2023 for ISO-NE

Posted by Jon Lamson on Nov 1, 2023

RTO Insider reports on a recently released white paper, authored by Daymark Energy Advisors and commissioned by Advanced Energy United, that calls upon ISO-NE to make immediate and long-term changes to its interconnection process to avoid delaying state clean energy goals in New England.

ISO-NE should go beyond the changes required by Order 2023 to address the high costs and long delays associated with interconnection in the region, said a recent white paper commissioned by Advanced Energy United and written by the energy consulting firm Daymark Energy Advisors.

“The costs imposed by inefficiencies in the interconnection process are borne by ratepayers in the region and are one significant factor which threatens the New England states’ decarbonization goals,” Daymark wrote. Advanced Energy United represents clean energy and storage developers, owners, and operators in the region.

The report detailed specific recommendations for the RTO’s compliance filing, along with longer-term actions to take to address issues that will not be addressed in the filing.

“While it is critical that Order 2023 is addressed and that a solid compliance package is submitted to the commission, we stress that this marks the beginning of the region’s interconnection process reform efforts,” Daymark wrote. “Changing technology, policy efforts and expected FERC orders on planning and cost allocation, among others, makes continued attention to comprehensive market reform imperative.”

Regarding ISO-NE’s Order 2023 compliance, Daymark said ISO-NE should work to limit the potential for restudies and keep the cluster study window to the 150-day time frame prescribed by FERC, instead of the RTO’s proposed 270-day cluster window. (See ISO-NE Details Proposed Order 2023 Compliance.) The firm said that reducing interconnection timelines was one of the main goals of the commission’s order, and a longer cluster study window could push back subsequent clusters.

ISO-NE representatives have said it is difficult to guarantee it will be able meet the 150-day timeline, in part because of the undetermined number of projects it may need to consider in any given cluster.

Daymark also recommended that ISO-NE clarify its methodology for studying separate subgroupings of projects within a given cluster. The firm said the RTO should publish the data and assumptions used in each cluster study in conjunction with its results.

“The process the ISO intends to use in each cluster study should be known before the cluster request window opens so that interconnection customers can replicate the process, if they so choose, and make fully informed decisions,” Daymark wrote.

Regarding alternative transmission technologies (ATTs), Daymark said ISO-NE should include dynamic line ratings with the other ATTs to be considered in interconnection studies. Daymark also called on the RTO to provide transparency around how each alternative will be considered in the study process and detail the results of ATT evaluations in study reports.

Looking beyond Order 2023 compliance, Daymark called for more disclosure around expected regional interconnection costs for project developers prior to interconnection studies, saying this could reduce the number of projects that drop out mid-process.

“Hand-in-hand with providing the data is ensuring that each study cycle follows a well-documented study approach,” Daymark added. The firm also said ISO-NE and the region’s transmission owners should work to minimize uncertainty within interconnection cost estimates and advocated for an upper limit to the cost overruns that can be charged to developers.

Finally, Daymark said spreading costs among a cluster of projects is a good first step toward properly allocating costs associated with interconnection upgrades. At the same time, ISO-NE should consider further steps to share the costs of upgrades with all beneficiaries, Daymark wrote.

“The establishment of a cost-allocation structure that is simple to administer, clear to all participants and fair to interconnection customers, the TOs and ratepayers should be a reform priority,” Daymark wrote, adding that interconnection upgrades can benefit state policy goals, enable increased electrification, promote system resilience and increase market competition.

“We recommend that the ISO pursue a cost allocation rule that would recognize the headroom created by a set of network upgrades and charge the projects in the cluster only for the system capability they needed to interconnect,” the report recommended, saying this would be conducive in the long term to “more closely coordinated planning of the system to address the reliable delivery of power to load and the interconnection of projects without distorting incentives.”

Read the full article here .
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Topics: Wholesale Markets, United In The News, Transmission

New report reveals the reforms New England needs to more quickly connect clean energy projects to the grid

Posted by Adam Winer on Nov 1, 2023

Immediate and long-term changes needed to ISO-NE's interconnection process to avoid delaying state clean energy goals, finds new Advanced Energy United commissioned analysis from Daymark Energy Advisors.

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.

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, Press Releases, Transmission, New England

DOE’s new grid-supporting grants will accelerate energy transition and unlock private investment

Posted by Adam Winer on Oct 18, 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy’s GRIP Program shows the importance of building new transmission, says Advanced Energy United’s Harrison Godfrey

WASHINGTON – Today, national business group Advanced Energy United (United)celebratesthe awarding of $3.5 billion for 58 grid-improving projectsas part of the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Grid Deployment Office. The funding is designed to support technologies and services that improvegrid flexibility, generate at least 30 GW of clean energy,and improve the resilience of the power system against the growing threats of extreme weather and climate change.

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Topics: Federal Policy, Press Releases, Transmission

Advanced Energy United supports Congress’ BIG WIRES Act

Posted by Adam Winer on Sep 15, 2023

Introduced today in the Senate and the House of Representatives, the bill would support the buildout of much-needed electric transmission infrastructure

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, national business association Advanced Energy United endorsed the Building Integrated Grids With Inter-Regional Energy Supply (BIG WIRES) Act, introduced today by Senator Hickenlooper and Representative Peters. The bill would address the need for more reliable transmission infrastructure to reduce power outages and upgrade power sector infrastructure.

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Topics: Federal Policy, Press Releases, Caitlin Marquis, Transmission

CommonWealth Magazine: Three steps for turning the power grid around

Posted by Jeremy McDiarmid and Kat Burnham on Aug 22, 2023

In an opinion piece to CommonWealth Magazine, Advanced Energy United’s Jeremy McDiarmid and Kat Burnham stressed the importance of a robust and resilient grid, highlighting the role New England governors have in building on state commitments to clean energy goals by taking a regional, holistic approach to developing the grid.

The utter devastation of summer flooding in New England and New York and the Canadian wildfire smoke that shrouded the Northeast in an orange haze in June shouts an inescapable truth louder than any voice: Climate change knows no geographic boundaries. Like it or not, the climate crisis is a global and regional issue. We’re in it together, and we’ll have to get out of it together.

Most New England states are committed to making progress on climate action, but states won’t meet their goals without a holistic approach. We need a drastic cut in carbon emissions and no amount of solar, wind, or electric vehicles will get us there without a robust, resilient, and dynamic grid across our states. Getting to 100 percent clean energy requires regional solutions, and New England governors should take the opportunity to show how it’s done.

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Topics: United In The News, Transmission, New England

Advanced Energy United applauds newly proposed program to streamline federal permitting process for electric transmission

Posted by Adam Winer on Aug 10, 2023

New rule would establish the Coordinated Interagency Transmission Authorizations and Permits Program

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Advanced Energy United, a national association of businesses united in their mission to achieve 100% clean energy and electrified transportation in America, applauded a newly proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Energy that would create a program to streamline federal permitting processes.

In particular, the new program would put the Department of Energy in charge of coordinating all agencies involved in the environmental review process, and cap the process at two years.

“Transmission developers are facing inefficient and lengthy review processes to getting projects permitted and approved, leading to increased costs and delayed timelines,” said Caitlin Marquis, Managing Director at Advanced Energy United. “Electric transmission lines are the essential backbones of our power grid, and building more transmission leads to lower energy costs and improved grid reliability. A more efficient permitting program that maintains essential review processes will provide more certainty for developers and support a stronger, more resilient power grid.

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Topics: Press Releases, Caitlin Marquis, Transmission

New Report Identifies Economic Savings for Texans, Optimal Approach for Modernizing the Texas Electric Grid

Posted by Adam Winer on Jul 17, 2023

1,350 more miles of electric transmission lines needed to meet Texas’ growing energy needs

AUSTIN, TXA new report by Texas-based energy analysis group IdeaSmiths LLC has modeled the most cost-effective path for the Texas electric grid to meet the state’s growing electricity needs by 2040, aiming to more effectively guarantee lower pricing for consumers. According to the report, keeping up with the demand for electricity will require the construction of approximately 1,350 miles of new transmission lines.

"The report lays out a clear, actionable roadmap for the ERCOT grid," says Matt Boms, Executive Director of the Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA), which co-funded the report with national business association Advanced Energy United. "Our findings underscore the urgent need for modernizing Texas’s electricity infrastructure. Adopting this roadmap will lower electricity bills for millions of Texans, bolster grid reliability and create thousands of jobs in the Lone Star State." 

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Topics: Press Releases, Texas, Transmission

Utility Dive: Grassroots buy-in will be vital to transmission buildout, say clean energy experts

Posted by Diana DiGangi on Jun 22, 2023

Utility Dive examines the role grassroots can play in leading the nation through its transmission obstacles, quoting Verna Mandez on the need for states to take more initiative.

As clean energy production ramps up, transmission reform is becoming a major priority for the renewables industry. Tens of thousands of megawatts of wind and solar capacity are in the interconnection queue, waiting to be able to connect to the grid.

The debt ceiling agreement reached by Congress and the White House earlier this month contained reforms to permitting, but not transmission. It instead requires the North American Electric Reliability Corp., or NERC, to study interregional transmission capacity needs between regions over 18 months.

“That will take time, it will take at least two years for that study to be completed,” Kasotia said in an interview. “So, personally, I do believe it’s going to delay meaningful action on transmission reform. I felt it was not a genuine request to address the transmission understanding or transmission knowledge that congressional members don’t have.”

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Topics: United In The News, Transmission, Verna Mandez

Advanced Energy United Celebrates Passage of the POWER Act by the Maryland General Assembly

Posted by Adam Winer on Apr 10, 2023

The POWER Act will accelerate the clean energy transition, ensure the construction of transmission lines, and create quality jobs in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md., April 10, 2023 – Today, national business association Advanced Energy United celebrated the Maryland General Assembly’s passage of the Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources Act (SB781/HB793), known as the POWER Act. Advanced Energy United represents the full range of technologies and services needed for 100% clean energy in Maryland and nationally, ranging from solar installers and EV manufacturers to energy efficiency companies and transmission developers, and more. The legislation, which is expected to be signed by Governor Wes Moore, lays a foundation for offshore wind and transmission line development in Maryland.

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Topics: State Policy, Press Releases, Transmission, Maryland, Nicholas Bibby